New Director for the Rahr-West art Museum, Manitowoc

by Gary John Gresl

The new Director for the Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, began in her position on August first. Barb Bundy Jost is no stranger to Manitowoc and the Rahr-West Art Museum, having received her education from nearby Silver Lake College, and after teaching in the Manitowoc Public School district since 1986. Barb was head of Lincoln High Schoolís visual art department for fourteen years, been involved in the museumís annual Youth Art Month, and has served on the museumís Board of Directors for two years.
The Rahr-West is a city-owned facility, and with Barbís background she comes equipped to understand and deal with the peculiar characteristics that are entailed in this sort of arrangement. Her experience working with the museum and the with previous Director, Jan Smith, also gave her a headís and leg up which less familiar candidates might not have. She also will be well served by her Assistant Director, Dan Juchniewich, who has been working with the museum for twenty-five years.
The Rahr-West is notable for being one of the better physical spaces in the state for showing visual art. The large open main gallery is well suited for viewers to have excellent views of displayed art. Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors has been pleased that the museum has several times provided space for its state-wide Wisconsin Artists Biennial, as well as having many WP&S members exhibits there over the decades. In fact, the 2009 Wisconsin Biennial will again be appearing in the Rahr-West.
The museum also has a multifarious collection of art, including a strong collection of Wisconsin artists, and a broader collection provided over many years through the collecting of Ruth West, the museumís long-time patron. As one notable example, Ruth acquired for the museum an excellent oil by Georgia OíKeeffe, something for other regional museums to envy indeed. The museum includes the original Rahr mansion attached to the contemporary edifice, a handsome Victorian building that also houses collections of period fine art and antiques.
The Rahr-West Art Museum is located at 610 North Eighth Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220. Phone: 920-683-4501. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.