In their first months as Co-Directors of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Anne and Frank Goodyear settled into their new positions—and made strides to bring the museum into the digital age.

The couple moved to Brunswick last May after more than a decade in D.C. at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. And though the Bowdoin Museum of Art may be a smaller scale operation, the Goodyears feel at home. 

“There are actually a lot of similarities between Bowdoin and the Smithsonian,” said Anne Goodyear. “I think the quest to produce and disseminate knowledge is one of the things that is very similar about the two institutions and this understanding that culture is protected to serve a higher good and that intellectual mission is extremely important to us.”

As the co-directors of the Museum, the Goodyears—who completed their graduate studies at the University of Texas—will share all responsibilities, from budgeting to programming. Working together is not new for them and they say their ability to collaborate is a major professional strength. 

“If there are tricky nuance things that need to be thought through, we think through what are the different dimensions of this. It means that we can reach out to that many more colleagues if we need to and seek input,” said Anne Goodyear. 

“What we’re really aiming to do is to represent Bowdoin even more fully, because we literally can be in two places at the same time,” she added. 

Since officially starting in June, the co-directors have concentrated on technological innovation. As of this fall, the museum’s entire collection of over 20,000 objects is accessible and searchable online through the Museum’s website. The co-directors are especially excited for the research opportunities this presents to students and the art community at large. 

“Coming here to Bowdoin, what excites me is thinking anew about what a teaching museum might be in the 21st century and trying to make it as open and as accessible as possible,” said Frank Goodyear. 

“I think it’s also important to think about how we speak to audiences in midcoast Maine, and throughout New England, and throughout the world,” he added.

The Goodyears also plan to establish an online and social media initiative as part of an effort to extend the reach of the Museum. With the help of Assistant Director of Communications Suzanne Bergeron, Katherine Gracey ’16 and the Information Technology Department, the co-directors plan to set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. 

They believe that a greater social media presence will raise the Museum’s profile and provide new intellectual opportunities. Once functioning, they will use the accounts to advertise new exhibitions, converse with other institutions, and establish a virtual presence in the modern age. 

“We’re very dedicated to a museum that is technology forward. It’s one thing to share it with the Bowdoin community—and that’s always our first priority—but if we can hook into a larger dialogue about the arts today, that’s awesome and that’s something that we want to explore further,” said Frank Goodyear.