For immediate release: August 31, 2017
Interim Leadership Announcement
Photo of Sonnet Coggins and Lisa Dorin.

Interim Deputy Director Sonnet Coggins and Interim Director Lisa Dorin. Photo by Tom Adams.

Effective September 5, 2017

Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) announces the interim leadership following the departure of Class of 1956 Director Christina Olsen. Olsen has been named Director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA).

WCMA’s current Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs Lisa Dorin (MA, 2000) will become interim Director. Dorin joined the museum in March 2013 from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she had served as Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. Since her return to campus she has been a key member of the WCMA senior team, developing and implementing the museum’s strategic plan, co-supervising the graduate curatorial workshop, and creating a new museum collections council for major acquisitions. She has also organized several prominent exhibitions, including recent shows highlighting the work of Meleko Mokgosi (MA, 2007) and Robert Rauschenberg.

Sonnet Coggins, WCMA’s current Associate Director for Academic and Public Engagement, will become interim Deputy Director. Coggins arrived at Williams in March 2013 after nine years as Master Teacher for Modern and Contemporary Art and Head of Adult and College Programs at the Denver Art Museum. At WCMA, Sonnet worked closely with Dorin and other senior staff members to articulate the museum’s strategic direction. She has collaboratively produced projects that push beyond formal conventions of exhibitions and programs and explore the relationship between socially-engaged art and museum practice.  

As interim leaders, Dorin and Coggins will be responsible for providing direction to the outstanding staff, maintaining an ambitious schedule of upcoming exhibitions and programs, and enhancing student and faculty engagement. The museum will benefit from their steady leadership and understanding of the organization’s current dynamics and future plans. Dorin and Coggins are ideally equipped to keep WCMA moving forward.

“During this transition year we aim, together with the stellar WCMA staff, to reflect and build upon the incredible things we’ve accomplished in the last five years, to further strengthen the museum’s relationships with colleagues across campus, to maintain momentum on our ambitious programs, and to provide the very best foundation for the museum as it enters its next phase of leadership.”