Executive Director, Colleen Schafroth, has announced her retirement from Maryhill Museum of Art. Schafroth worked for the Museum for 37 years, functioning as Maryhill’s Executive Director since 2001. 

During her tenure as Executive Director, Schafroth oversaw the addition of the $10 million Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, dedicated in 2012, the $3.6 million renovation of the historic building between 2001-2003, as well as a stucco renovation campaign in 2016. Schafroth’s leadership resulted in the accreditation of the Museum by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in 2002. 

Colleen Schafroth to retire as Executive Director - Maryhill Museum - Columbia Gorge

Prior to stepping into the role of Executive Director, Schafroth served as Maryhill’s Curator of Education from 1986. In this capacity, she researched and published books on the history of the Museum’s chess set collection, developed the annual Summer Art Institute and Museum Week, as well as teacher workshops, an Elderhostel program and a high school juried art and K-12 chess set design exhibitions.  

“I am the happiest when I see kids and families enjoying the Museum,” she says. For Schafroth, creating a better Museum for people to visit has been the driving goal as Executive Director. “If people come here and have a change of perspective about what is possible in the world through art, even wanting to express themselves through art, then we have made an impact on people’s lives.” 

“I am the happiest when I see kids and families enjoying the Museum,”

Some of most challenging times for her as the Museum’s Executive Director were the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020. Applying to all the funding options available, Maryhill was able to keep functioning without losing any staff. “It was a miracle,” Schafroth says now. “I don’t know how we did it.” 

Recently, Maryhill’s Board of Trustees has entrusted Hagel & Company with the search for Maryhill’s new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. The incoming Executive Director is expected to take over from Schafroth before her official last day at the Museum on September 1, 2023.