Former Delaware Art Museum Director Rice dies


Former Delaware Art Museum Director Danielle Rice died late this week.

Rice led the museum through a difficult eight-year period that ended in 2013.

That period included a deep recession that further reduced corporate support. The museum also struggled with an ill-fated expansion program that left the institution deep in debt.

Rice who had a doctorate in art history from Yale, came to the museum after a long career as an educator and museum executive. Rice managed the expanded museum and the added operating costs that came with the added square footage while working to build ties and partnerships with the community.

During her tenure, the museum hosted several successful major exhibitions and welcomed back the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art from a world tour into newly designed galleries.

She led the museum through its Centennial Celebration, including a wide array of partnerships throughout the state. She also initiated the Centennial Campaign for the Next Century Fund which has raised over $6.5 million.

The museum, in a controversial move, later sold some of its paintings to further stabilize its finances.

At the time of her death, Rice was the director of the Master of Science Program in Museum Leadership at Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

The program is designed to prepare leaders who will enable museums to fulfill their missions of stewardship and education.

Before the Delaware Art Museum and Drexel, Rice worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as curator of education (1986-1997), senior curator of education (1997-2001) and associate director for programs. She also headed the education departments of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Services will be held in the chapel at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 225 Belmont Ave. Bala Cynwyd PA 19004 on Monday, September 16 at 11 a.m. Memorial donations can be made to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Delaware Art Museum, and Kol Tzedek Synagogue.

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