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Melanie Sheffield Appointed Chief Development Officer at the Harvard Art Museums

Cambridge, MA,

The Harvard Art Museums are pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Sheffield as Chief Development Officer, a new leadership position in the museums’ Office of Institutional Advancement; she will assume the role on March 4, 2019. The Chief Development Officer will provide strategic direction for the planning and execution of all functions related to development, in alignment with the museums’ mission, vision, and goals. Sheffield comes to the museums from Boston Ballet, where she has served since 2013: first as Director of Individual Giving and then as Director of Development, a promotion she received during her first year with the organization. She is returning to the museums for this new role, having previously served as Assistant Director of Membership and Special Programs in 2005–06.

With over 17 years of fundraising and development experience in cultural and higher education institutions, Sheffield brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her new role at the museums. She has deep understanding of the philanthropic landscape in Boston and beyond, and has worked with some of the region’s foremost donors. She established the Boston Ballet’s first planned giving program and is personally responsible for a portfolio of 50 of the Ballet’s top prospects and donors.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to welcome someone of Melanie’s caliber to our team at the Harvard Art Museums,” said Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. “She is perfectly positioned to build on the success we have had in generating enthusiasm and support for our unique teaching and research mission. Her passion for the arts is palpable and inspiring; I look forward to her energy and ideas as we forge new paths in stewarding our fundraising efforts, strengthening relationships with current friends, and reaching out to bring others into our network of supporters.”

Prior to her work at Boston Ballet, Sheffield served in development leadership roles at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (2010–13: Director of Advancement; Director of the President’s Council) and Wentworth Institute of Technology (2006–10: Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement; Major Gifts Officer; Director of the Annual Fund and Donor Relations). Sheffield earned a B.A. in communications from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1999, with a minor in history of art and architecture.

“I am thrilled to be returning to the Harvard Art Museums as the new Chief Development Officer and to partner with Director Martha Tedeschi in advancing the museums’ exceptional mission,” said Sheffield. “As an ardent supporter of the arts, it is an honor to join this community and to have the opportunity to engage current friends and create new connections with those interested in investing in the museums’ vibrant future.”

About the Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums house one of the largest and most renowned art collections in the United States, and are comprised of three museums (the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums) and four research centers (the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis). The Fogg Museum includes Western art from the Middle Ages to the present; the Busch-Reisinger Museum, unique among North American museums, is dedicated to the study of all modes and periods of art from central and northern Europe, with an emphasis on German-speaking countries; and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum is focused on Asian art, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern art, and Islamic and later Indian art. Together, the collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media. The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the range and depth of their collections, their groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of their staff. Integral to Harvard University and the wider community, the museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and the public. For more than a century they have been the nation’s premier training ground for museum professionals and are renowned for their seminal role in developing the discipline of art history in the United States. The Harvard Art Museums have a rich tradition of considering the history of objects as an integral part of the teaching and study of art history, focusing on conservation and preservation concerns as well as technical studies.

The Harvard Art Museums’ 2014 renovation and expansion carried on the legacies of the three museums and united their remarkable collections under one roof for the first time. Renzo Piano Building Workshop preserved the Fogg Museum’s landmark 1927 facility, while transforming the space to accommodate 21st-century needs. The three constituent museums retain their distinct identities in the facility, yet their close proximity provides exciting opportunities to experience works of art in a broader context.

Hours and Admission
Daily, 10am–5pm. Closed major holidays. Admission: $15 adults, $13 seniors (65+). Free for members; youth under 18; Cambridge residents (proof of residency required); all students; and Harvard ID holders (plus one guest). On Saturdays, from 10am–noon, Massachusetts residents receive free admission (proof of residency required). For further information about visiting, see

Exhibitions, Events, and News
Our Special Exhibitions Gallery presents important new research on artists and artistic practice, and our University Galleries are programmed in consultation with Harvard faculty to support coursework.

Lectures, workshops, films, performances, special events, and other programs are held throughout the year at the museums.

Check out Index, our multimedia magazine, to keep up with what’s happening at the Harvard Art Museums.

Members and Fellows
With access to exclusive perks and programs, Harvard Art Museums members enjoy special moments to celebrate and explore the museums’ world-class collections and special exhibitions.

The Fellows are a dynamic group of art enthusiasts and supporters who enjoy the most exclusive opportunities that the museums have to offer.

The Harvard Art Museums receive support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

For more information, please contact:
Daron Manoogian
Director of Communications
Harvard Art Museums

Jennifer Aubin
Public Relations Manager
Harvard Art Museums