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May 2018

Thomas J. Putnam Named Executive Director Concord Museum

CONCORD – May 7, 2018  The Concord Museum Board of Governors has named Thomas J. Putnam the Museum’s new Edward W. Kane Executive Director.  Putnam will begin his position on June 4, 2018, which follows Margaret R. Burke’s recent retirement after seven years of leadership.

“Tom is an accomplished museum leader, educator, and visionary and we are very excited to welcome him as the new director of this treasured institution,” stated Ralph Earle, Vice President of the Board of Governors and chair of the search committee, who conducted a nationwide search directed by Phillips Oppenheim.

Putnam is currently serving as the Director of Education and Public Programs at the National Archives and Records Administration.  In 2017, he served as the Director of Presidential Libraries and managed the nation’s modern presidential library system including the 14 federally-managed libraries from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama. Prior to this role, Putnam spent over 15 years at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, ultimately rising to Director, a position in which he served for eight years. During his tenure, the Library launched the nation’s first digital presidential archive and the Kennedy Library Forums were recognized as among the finest speaker series in Boston. He also managed the design and construction of a $30 million building addition project and directed the $2.8 million redesign of the Library’s permanent galleries.  Under his watch, the Library’s retained earnings grew from $4 million to $11 million.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the extraordinary staff at the Concord Museum at this transformational moment in the museum’s history,” said Tom Putnam. “I am excited to develop creative avenues to consider how the lessons of Concord’s history can illuminate our times.”

Putnam holds an undergraduate degree in Government and Education from Bowdoin College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a Master’s in Public Administration from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and served as a Fulbright Research Fellow in Senegal, West Africa. Putnam was also a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in Quebec, Canada and a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Earlier in his career Putnam worked as a high school history teacher in Maine and from 1992 to 1999 served as the Northfield Mount Hermon Upward Bound Director –  assisting low-income high school students from Hartford, Springfield, and Holyoke to be the first in their families to attend college.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Tom Putnam’s caliber lead the Concord Museum during this transformative time with the opening of the Education Center and the upcoming Museum gallery renovation. He has strong experience as a leader, scholar, and a commitment to the community and the underserved,” explained Churchill Franklin, President of the Museum’s Board of Governors.

The Concord Museum recently released a detailed building master plan and the projected opening week of September 10, 2018 for its 12,900 square-foot education center. The Education Center will allow the Museum to meet the growing demand for its school and public programs that serves 17,000 people annually. Beginning on July 9, 2018 the Museum will begin Phase II of the project including upgrades to the Museum gallery infrastructure and a new entranceway to improve the visitor experience.

About the Concord Museum: The Concord Museum is where all of Concord’s remarkable past is brought to life through an inspiring collection of historical, literary, and decorative arts treasures. Renowned for the 1775 Revere lantern and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden desk, the Concord Museum is home to a nationally significant collection of American decorative arts, including clocks, furniture, and silver. Founded in 1886, the Museum is a gateway to historic Concord for visitors from around the world and a vital cultural resource for the town and region.

Please note: In March, 2018 the Concord Museum’s Board of Governors announced that the Executive Director position will henceforth be known as the Edward W. Kane Executive Director. As a long-time Concord resident and supporter of the Museum and Honorary Member of the Board of Governors, Ed Kane has helped the Museum evolve, engage, and expand.

Full press release here.


May 2018

Concord Museum Unveils Masterplan

Concord Museum Unveils Masterplan: New Education Center Opens and Museum Galleries Upgraded


February 2018


Executive Director Margaret Burke will retire, leaving a legacy of achievements for the Concord Museum.  Click here for the full Press Release.