Garst Museum names new director
The Board of Directors of the Darke County Historical Association, Garst Museum, is pleased to announce the hiring of Clay Johnson, Ph.D. as its next executive director. He replaces retiring director, Penny Perry.
Uniquely qualified for the position of executive director, Clay holds a Ph.D. in Public History with History and Public Administration from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Wright State University with a Master of Arts in Public History Administration with Archives and Records management and a Bachelor of Arts in History. His doctorate level training includes museum and exhibit management, nonprofit administration, human resources management, artifact conservation, and records and archives management. In addition to these academic qualifications, Dr. Johnson brings managerial, budgeting, and technology experience to his position.
Clay lives in the country in a Federal style farmhouse he has renovated. He enjoys historical homes and barns, antiques, gardening, biking and hiking, working on vintage vehicles and garden tractors, and is committed to living in the rural community that surrounds him. He is looking forward to putting all his training, education, and acquired skills in play as he leads the Garst Museum forward with new ideas, technology, outreach, and expansion.
Dr. Johnson commented, “With all that it has to offer, I feel that the Garst Museum is an important and vital institution for the region. The museum obtained its well-deserved, quality reputation through years of hard work and dedication by the Board of Directors, donors, Penny Perry and her staff, numerous volunteers, and the surrounding community. I am impressed with the care and concern expressed for the Garst Museum by those involved. As executive director, I look forward to strengthening the region’s relationship to the museum by developing outreach programs and exhibits that focus on the community’s interests.”
“The Garst Museum is a perfect fit for me as its focus includes so many of my longtime historical interests. Early in my life, I developed a love for history and an appreciation for early craftsmanship in furniture, art, and homes. This passion has driven both my personal and professional life. Surrounded by its history and significant artifact collection, working at the Garst Museum is an exciting opportunity for me. I look forward to engaging the community as a partner in the growth and development of the museum.”