The Farnsworth Art Museum, in downtown Rockland, Maine, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jean Joransen Ellis as their new Director of Development. Ms. Ellis will become a member of the museum’s senior staff beginning the end of November where she will lead all of the Farnsworth’s philanthropic efforts, including the annual fund and individual and institutional giving. She was most recently Chief Advancement Officer at the prestigious Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, where she was responsible for both the development and communications departments.
Jean Joransen Ellis has more than twenty years of professional experience in leadership and development roles in the non-profit sector. After beginning her professional fundraising career with the Shreveport Symphony as Director of Development in 1992, Jean began working in 1995 for the Houston Symphony as Director of Corporate and Foundation Giving. She was promoted to Director of Development in 1996 and ended her tenure with them in 2003 as Senior Director, Capital Campaign.
In 2005, Jean became the Executive Director of the Bagaduce Music Lending Library, a non-profit in Blue Hill, Maine. During her time there she oversaw the volunteer workforce, overhauled the accounting system and developed new financial policies to increase giving.
She then worked at the Denver Zoological Foundation as Vice President for Development and Membership, where she helped to reenergize their capital campaign resulting in more than $10 million in capital gifts during the last year of the campaign. Most recently, Jean brought her leadership and fundraising experience to Houston Ballet as its first Chief Development Officer.
In late 2012, she joined the Menil Collection as Chief Advancement Officer where a significant amount of her time was devoted to their $110 million capital campaign. Ms. Ellis holds a master’s degree in business administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree, both from the University of Denver.
The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 15,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The National Register-listed Farnsworth Homestead; the Olson House, a National Historic Landmark; and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex. Please visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org for more information on current exhibitions, programs and events.