The Board of Directors of the National Sporting Library and Museum has appointed Melanie Leigh Mathewes as its new executive director.
Mathewes served as the executive director of the Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk, Va., for the last eight years. During her tenure, she oversaw the first strategic plan for the Hermitage, which resulted in numerous improvements in the physical plant and a dramatic increase in membership and visitation.
Prior to coming to the Hermitage, Mathewes was the events and exhibition specialist at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. In addition to leading the Hermitage, Mathewes joined the Virginia Association of Museums as council director for the Tidewater and Eastern Shore region in 2011. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Tidewater Community College, teaching courses in art history since 2010.
Her 20-year career with museums includes work at Agecroft Hall, The Museum of the Southwest, Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum, Craven Arts Council, Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens and the Norfolk Botanical Garden. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in museum studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.
In a statement announcing the appointment, Manual H. Johnson, chairman of the NSLM Board of Directors, said, “We are very pleased that someone of Melanie’s background and experience will become our executive director. Her record in Norfolk is most impressive, and when we interviewed her, we could see why she was so successful there. We look forward to working with her to take the National Sporting Library and Museum to an even higher level.”