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Museum losing its director, again

Aspen Times Staff Report

Samuel Shogren, hired as director of the Aspen Historical Society just eight months ago after an extensive nationwide search, announced his resignation yesterday.

Shogren is apparently a victim of his own success and will be the last “executive director” for the nonprofit group, said Bonnie Murry, president of the board of directors.

“Sam took us to a new level, but with the growth we’ve been experiencing, there were just too many things for one person to do,” Murry said.

So Shogren’s replacement will actually be two individuals, with the executive director’s responsibilities split between the newly created positions of curatorial director and administrative director.

There will be a general restructuring of the whole organization, said Murry, not just in the executive director’s office.

“It’s not that we’re growing too fast. But we’re very interested in controlled growth,” Murry said.

Murry insists that Shogren and the historical society parted on “mutually amicable terms.” In fact, Shogren was offered the curatorial director position but turned it down.

“We really didn’t have a disagreement [with Shogren.] Sometimes people are just not a natural fit. What Sam expected of the job and what the board expected of the job might have been different,” Murry remarked.

Shogren could not be reached for comment. But in the press release announcing his resignation it was noted that he will “continue to work in the museum field as a consultant and grant reviewer.”

Shogren was hired by the Historical Society after a nationwide search. He replaced Jody McCabe, who stepped down last year.

Before coming to Aspen, Shogren was curator of the Penobscot Maine Museum in Searsport, Maine.

The first priority for the society’s board of directors will be to find an administrative director. The board will try to fill the position with a local candidate. The search for a curatorial director will be conducted after an administrative director is hired.


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