John Childs

SALEM, MA -- The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) announces the appointment of John D. Childs as its new Director of Museum Collection Services. Childs joins PEM from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City where he served as Head of Conservation Services and was responsible for overseeing more than 10,000 artifacts.

At PEM, Childs will oversee the museum's registration, collection management and conservation functions as well as serve on the Executive Leadership Team. His appointment coincides with the planning for new installations of the collection as part of PEM's expansion project and for a new 80,000-square-foot Collection Center. The Center will provide unprecedented capacity for the study and care of the museum's collection of more than 1 million objects.

"With John Childs' exceptional experience in conservation, collection care, team management, historic preservation and grant writing, I know that we can look forward to a great new chapter in the care and presentation of our collection," says Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM's James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deputy Director.

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum Program in Art Conservation, Childs has also been affiliated with a wide variety of projects at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. He has also been an adjunct assistant professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University. From 2006 to 2011, Childs served as Conservator at Historic New England, where he managed the conservation department responsible for treating objects from 36 historic house museums and the associated study collection.

PEM's collection offers outstanding works primarily from the 1700s to today: paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, textiles, architecture and decorative objects. More than 1 million works - many of them the first to be collected in this country - offer experiences unique among American art museums. Highlights of the collection include 24 preserved historic structures; an extensive collection of photographs, representing nearly every kind of photographic format and process and including some of the world's finest 19th- and early 20th-century photographs of Asia; the most comprehensive collection of Asian export art in North America; one of the world's oldest and best public collections of Native art and culture of the Americas; one of the leading collections of Indian art from the 18th century to the present.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kathy Tarantola / PEM


Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country's oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time -- including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic and African art. PEM's campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-four noted historic structures grace PEM's campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only such example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States, and the Phillips Library, which holds one of the nation's most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $17; students $12. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit


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Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

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