Addison Updates Archive

Susan Faxon Retires


After 31 incredible years, Susan Faxon, associate director and Robert M. Walker Curator of Art Before 1950, will retire. During her productive, inventive, and distinctive tenure, Susan has produced innumerable exhibitions from the collection, helmed large shows that have traveled around the country and across the world, and produced original scholarship that has illuminated and expanded our understanding of the collections of the Addison and the history of American art. Some of her many notable essays may be found in the publications Winslow Homer at the Addison; Addison Gallery of American Art: 65 Years; Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s; and Academy Hill: The Andover Campus. And while her title suggests a cutoff date for her endeavors, her thorough understanding of the collections has produced exhibitions that include works from the very origins of the United States to the present. 

Susan has helped to build the collections at the Addison, both broadening and deepening the holdings. Notable acquisitions include enormous troves of works by Arthur Wesley Dow and George Tooker; important paintings by John Graham, Morton Schamberg, and Charmion von Wiegand; and a wonderful sculpture by Theodore Roszak, to name but a few. Susan has mentored Allie Kemmerer, Mead Curator of Photography and Art after 1950, as well as numerous interns and researchers who now work in museums across the country. She served as acting director three times and managed the building project for the Knafel Wing, which includes the Museum Learning Center—a space we cannot imagine living without. 

For Phillips Academy, Susan has read hundreds of admissions applications, clocked the times at track meets, and served on a variety of committees, including, most recently, the campus master plan task force. Her engagement with the cultural life of this region has also included important volunteer stints with Trinity Church in Boston. 

In recognition of her tremendous service to the Addison—and in keeping with museum practice for curators who have made such important marks on their institutions—Susan will become associate director and Robert M. Walker Curator of Art before 1950, emerita.​