Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 8, 2021
Gray named Wilson Museum executive director
Hutchins retires after 50 years
Julia Gray is introduced as the next executive director of the Wilson Museum by board trustee Temple Blackwood.
At the Wilson Museum’s open house on Saturday, July 3, board trustee Temple Blackwood announced the appointment of Julia Gray as the museum’s incoming executive director, effective September 11, according to a press release. Gray will take over for Patty Hutchins, who is retiring after 50 years with the museum, many as executive director.
Gray accepted the museum’s charge to further its mission to “stimulate exploration of the natural history and cultures of the Penobscot Bay region and the world” by using its eclectic collections to provide programs in local history, traditional technologies, world cultures, and prehistory for multi-generational audiences. Many of the exhibits emphasize the relationship of individuals and families to collections and research.
Gray is the founder and principal of Riverside Museum Solutions, LLC, which has provided collaborative and community-based solutions for museum collections, exhibits and interpretation since 2018. She has also served as Interim Director, Abbe Museum (2019); Director of Collections and Research, Abbe Museum (2000-17); Research Assistant, Archaeological Research Consultants, Inc. (1991-2000); and Curatorial Assistant, Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum (1996).
A trained archaeologist, Gray holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Arkansas.
Throughout her professional life, she has maintained a strong connection to the fields of anthropology and museum studies through participation and presentation at state and regional conferences.
Gray brings a creative energy and an engaging leadership style that will dynamically expand the museum’s mission, the press release reports. Blackwood said, “We are thrilled to have her accept the challenges of leading it into the next 100 years.”
Gray, her husband, John, and two dogs live in Orland, where she serves as assistant chief of the Orland Volunteer Fire Department.