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West of the Boulevard

Maymont selects Katherine Garrett-Cox as Curator and Director of Historical Resources and Collections

Garrett-Cox will manage conservation and preservation efforts for Maymont’s historic resources, which include the Mansion, carriages, and historic outbuildings and structures.

Trevor Dickerson

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The Maymont Foundation has announced that Katherine Garrett-Cox has been selected as the Curator and Director of Historical Resources and Collections, starting December 5. Reporting to the Executive Director, Garrett-Cox will manage conservation and preservation efforts for Maymont’s historic resources, which include the Mansion, carriages, and historic outbuildings and structures.

Garrett-Cox brings two decades of experience managing nationally significant historical resources — including the 11 properties of the Preservation Society of Newport County (Rhode Island), and over 300,000 artifacts at the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Facility — to her new role as Maymont’s historic content expert, curator and preservation specialist.

“As Maymont approaches its 100th anniversary as a shared community treasure, we are fortunate to find a professional like Kathy with the combination of hands-on experience and in-depth scholarship to steward Maymont’s historic experiences into the future,” said Parke Richeson, Maymont Executive Director. “I’m confident her multifaceted expertise in managing extensive collections, curating exhibitions and overseeing complex technical projects, such as environmental system upgrades, will ensure success in our strategic direction to broaden Maymont’s accessibility and enrich community engagement.”

“I am delighted to be stepping into the role as Curator and Director of Historic Resources and Collections. Maymont’s expertly cared for collections and history draw thousands of visitors to the estate each year,” said Kathy Garrett-Cox, “I look forward to finding new ways to engage audiences of all ages and interests in the history and preservation of Maymont.”

In her new role, Garrett-Cox plans to enhance ways in which objects, buildings, historical information, archives and artwork will engage the community and be interpreted through exhibitions, presentations, tours, educational programs, publications and events. In addition, she will arrange for improvement, care, preservation and conservation of historical resources. She will oversee the collections during the upcoming Maymont 2025 project, which entails infrastructure improvements such as a new roof and safety systems for the Maymont Mansion.

After beginning her career at Maymont where she was Manager of Historical Collections from 2006 to 2016, Garrett-Cox became Collections Manager for the Preservation Society of Newport County in 2016, where she was responsible for the care and curated exhibitions of over 60,000 objects in 11 historic homes. In 2020, she was tapped as the Supervisory Museum Curator/Collections Manager for the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Facility. For the Navy, she managed over 300,000 artifacts in a 300,000-square-foot facility while working to catalog and inventory the collection for the first time in the Navy’s history. In addition, she oversaw several facility projects, including a new multi-million-dollar roof and new HVAC system for a 10,000-square-foot storage area and conservation lab.

As Collections Manager for the Preservation Society of Newport County, she worked on several exhibitions including a U.S. retrospective of “Pierre Cardin, 70 Years of Innovation” and “Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light,” among many others. In addition, she oversaw the digitization of the collection and collaborative web portal for Newport, allowing the Preservation Society’s collection and archives to be accessible to the public for the first time. She worked to preserve and protect the collections in all 11 houses and outbuildings, including working on major facility projects such as the installation of a geothermal system in the Breakers. This was the first HVAC system of any kind to be installed in this historic home.

Garrett-Cox earned an M.A. in Art History with a concentration in modern and contemporary American and European Art from the American International University in London, England, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History with minors in History and Women’s Studies at Salem College, in North Carolina. She is a recognized expert in her field and takes an active role as a member and speaker with historical associations and conferences, such as the Virginia Conservation Association, the Virginia Association of Museums, the Richmond Museum Emergency Support Team and the American Association of State and Local History.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.