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Delaware Art Museum Executive Director Danielle Rice Joins Drexel as Inaugural Museum Leadership Program Director

August 5, 2013

PHILADELPHIA – Delaware Art Museum Executive Director Dr. Danielle Rice has been appointed director of the new museum leadership graduate degree program in Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, which will launch in September 2013.

With more than 25 years of experience in designing and implementing innovative new programs to communicate art to the public, Rice brings a wealth of qualifications as a distinguished advocate for arts education with enormous experience in all aspects of museum management. She has served at the Delaware Art Museum since June 2005, working with its diverse range of members and partners to make the museum more visitor-friendly and community-minded.

The Delaware Art Museum, founded in 1912, holds a collection of more than 12,000 objects. The collection focuses on American art and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century, and on the English Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-19th century. Before becoming executive director, Rice worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 19 years, during which time she served as curator of education (1986-1997), senior curator of education (1997-2001) and associate director for programs. As associate director for programs, she oversaw the departments of special exhibitions, education, publications, the library and the archives. She has also headed the education departments of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.    

Rice’s approach to museum leadership fits seamlessly with the Westphal College’s philosophy of interdisciplinary education and technology. In addition to coordinating exhibitions, she has developed new interpretive strategies for permanent collections throughout her career, engineering large-scale celebrations, scholarly symposia, community outreach projects and technology installations in multiple museum settings. She has authored and produced interactive computer programs, kiosks and websites, random access audio tours and distance education through videoconferencing. 

Westphal College Dean Allen Sabinson said, “With the historic merger of Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences, we are in unique position to create a leading national program that will train the next generation of museum leaders to address the many challenges facing this incredibly important cultural sector. Dr. Danielle Rice is an experienced and revered museum leader and we are pleased and proud that she will be the inaugural director for this important academic program which will draw upon strengths and assets from across the University, the Academy, and in collaboration with the wealth of museums in our region and beyond.”

Rice holds a doctorate in the history of art from Yale University (1979) and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College (1973). She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the American Association of Museums’ Museum Educators’ Award for Excellence (1988) and the Pennsylvania Art Education Association’s Museum Educator of the Year Award (1996), and has lectured and published broadly. 

About the Drexel Museum Leadership Program:

Drexel University’s new master of science degree in museum leadership is designed to prepare leaders who will enable museums to fulfill their missions of stewardship and education. The innovative curriculum covers the full range of domestic and international museums—art, history, science, archaeology, zoos, aquariums, arboretums, historic houses, children’s and folklore. It offers courses that are interdisciplinary, encompassing multiple areas of knowledge and expertise within Drexel and beyond. The program combines cutting-edge theory, history and practice and addresses the need for increased diversity in the museum workforce, management, collections and programs. The 45-credit degree can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. The program deliberately and thoughtfully includes all members of our communities, cultivating leaders of a range of ages and backgrounds with an awareness and appreciation for diversity in all of its meanings. For more information about the program, visit: 

About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design:

Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers 16 undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and an award-winning faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the URBN Center,  Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU 91.7 FM) stations, the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection. For more information about the College, visit: