Gardens with Round Stone Barn and Dairy Ell, Hancock Shaker Village; Photo by Bestbudbrian; [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Gardens with Round Stone Barn and Dairy Ell, Hancock Shaker Village; Photo by Bestbudbrian; [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Hancock Shaker Village announces appointment of Nathaniel Silver as next director

Nathaniel Silver, formerly of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, praises the Shaker legacy of equity and sustainability, symbolized by Villages iconic Round Stone Barn; submitted photo. Photo by Bestbudbrian; CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass  occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would not provide additional relevant information.

HANCOCK, Mass. — The Board of Trustees of Hancock Shaker Village announced today that Nathaniel Silver has been appointed Executive Director and CEO, following a 4-month search and a unanimous decision by the Board. Silver comes to Hancock Shaker Village from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where he worked for eight years and serves as the William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection and Division Head, overseeing collections, conservation, publications and archives. Silver will assume his new role on September 19.

Nathaniel Silver, incomig executive director and CEO of Hancock Shaker Village; submitted photo.

At the Gardner, Silver was instrumental in shaping and fulfilling the institution’s strategic plan. He played a key role in making the collection accessible to the widest possible audience and supervised content creation for the museum-wide digitization project. Silver charted new directions in the exhibition program, curating twelve exhibitions including thecritically acclaimed Titian: Women, Myth & Power (August 2021 – January 2022), Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller & John Singer Sargent (February – October 2020) including a new commission from contemporary artist Lorraine O’Grady, and Botticelli: Heroines + Heroes (February – May 2019). This program also included ten publications authored, edited, or co-edited by him.

Before joining the Gardner Museum, Silver worked for three years at The Frick Collection in New York City where his exhibition Piero della Francesca in America earned international recognition. He has also served as the Edmond J. Safra Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and held fellowships at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. Silver holds a Ph.D. and an MA from the University of London.

“We are very pleased to appoint Nathaniel Silver as the next Executive Director of Hancock Shaker Village,” said Diane Eshleman, Chairman of the Board. “He will be an inspirational leader who has curated marvelous exhibitions at the Gardner and is coming to the Village during an exciting time when our own dynamic programming is gaining momentum. We are incredibly grateful to Jennifer Trainer Thompson for the phenomenal impact she has had at the Village during her tenure and the wonderful legacy she leaves for us. We are pleased that she will be assisting with a smooth transition to the new Director.”

“I am thrilled to join Hancock Shaker Village at such an exciting time. Like the Gardner, the Village is a work of art in its entirety with a deep commitment to serving its community and resulted from the vision of a woman ahead of her time,” said Nat Silver.  “The Shakers left a uniquely American legacy of equity and sustainability that resonates profoundly today and inspires every aspect of the Village’s dynamic public program. I look forward to working with the staff, to building on these incredible successes, and to shaping a vibrant future together.”

Current Executive Director, Jennifer Trainer Thompson, will remain in the position through September 16, 2022.

About Hancock Shaker Village:

Home to the Shakers for almost 200 years, Hancock Shaker Village is the preeminent Shaker living history museum in the United States. With 20 historic buildings on 750 acres, Hancock Shaker Village brings the Shaker story to life and preserves it for future generations. Through Shaker architecture, design, a 22,000-piece collection, and engaging programming, the Village promotes appreciation of the aesthetics, beliefs, achievement, and controversies that have defined the Shaker experience in America. Located at 1843 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield Massachusetts, Hancock Shaker Village regularly presents exhibitions that focus on the Shakers, while also inviting contemporary artists to reinterpret Shaker themes. Recent exhibitions include James Turrell and Nicholas Mosse’sLapsed Quaker Ware, and A Spirit of Gift, A Place of Sharing, a campus wide exhibition featuring the site-specific works of Pinaree Sanpitak, Yusuke Asai, and Kimsooja. For more information about Hancock Shaker Village, please contact Carolyn McDaniel at [email protected] or visit

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