♦ Staff ♦

Heather Kowalski, Executive Director
email: bidwellhouse  at  gmail.com

Lesley Herzberg, Administrative Manager
email: bidwellhm2  at gmail.com



Museum hires new Adminstrative Manager

Over the summer we said good bye to Katie Connell when she made the move to Northampton for a full-time teaching position. Following a brief search, we were very excited to welcome Lesley Herzberg as the new Administrative Manager. Lesley comes to the Museum with a wealth of experience after spending over nine years as Curator at Hancock Shaker Village. She received her BA in religious studies and anthropology from Kenyon College and her MA in art history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to joining the staff at Hancock, Herzberg held posts at the Biltmore Estate, the National Gallery of Art, the Jewish Museum of London, and the Decatur House Museum in Washington, DC. Additionally, she has worked on the business side of the art world as assistant curator to sculptor J. Seward Johnson, and as an appraiser of furniture and decorative arts at a Chicago auction house. She currently lives in Pittsfield with her husband and two sons. Lesley started in August and has been a great addition to the staff. She is in the office on Monday, Thursday and Friday, so feel free to stop by to say hello!

New Docent/Caretaker for the 2018 Season

The Museum is excited to welcome Devon Hutchins at the 2018 Docent/Caretaker.  Devon will be in charge of leading tours, overseeing the intern program and taking care of the house while she is here from May to October.  Hailing originally from Orrs Island, Maine, Devon just received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmittsburg, Maryland.  She will be at the Museum Thursday-Monday each week.


Bidwell House Museum Board Announces Appointment of New Executive Director

April 11, 2017, Monterey, Mass — Rob Hoogs, President of the Bidwell House Museum, the Berkshires’ Colonial history museum, announced today the appointment of Heather Kowalski as the new Executive Director of the museum, a 1760s historic house and gardens in Monterey, Mass. Effective May 1, Heather will take over the director position from Barbara Palmer, who has served the museum as executive director for the past seven and a half years.

Heather Kowalski“I am excited to welcome Heather Kowalski to this leadership role. Heather has served as the assistant to the executive director for the past one and half years,” stated Hoogs. “She brings excellent leadership, passion for education about historic houses, and terrific museum expertise to this position.” Heather worked previously at the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art, both in Pittsburgh PA, prior to relocating to the Berkshires.  Her husband Jesse Kowalski is Curator of Exhibitions at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

“At the same time, the board and I are very proud of Barbara Palmer on her appointment to be Associate Director for museum budget and operations at the Williams College Museum of Art,” noted Hoogs. “She has been a consummate professional and we have been very fortunate to have her as director for all these years.”

Barbara Palmer joined the board in congratulating Heather Kowalski. “I have worked closely with Heather, and I know the museum is in good hands,” she noted. “Heather has been instrumental in the restoration campaign, and she is bringing superb professional expertise to the museum.” Palmer also thanked the board: “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead the Bidwell House and to build the museum’s education programs and public visibility. Moreover, I am incredibly proud of the Bidwell board and the whole community for the successful – and still ongoing – restoration campaign for the historic buildings. With Heather’s appointment and this caring community, I know the museum will rise to new heights.”

Prior directors and staff of the museum are serving in a number of cultural organizations around the country. Lisa Simpson, director of the Bidwell House Museum from 1992 to 1995 and as an interim director in 2000, is currently the director of the New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro Falls, NH. Anita Carroll Weldon, director from 1996 to 2000, is director of the Horatio Colony House Museum and Nature Preserve in Keene, NH.  Joanna Jennings, assistant to the director from 2007 to 2010, is museum manager for the American Red Cross in Danville, NY. Closer by, Chris Caccamo, head docent and caretaker from 2007 to 2011, is now head gardener at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens in Stockbridge.  “The Bidwell House Museum has proven to be a fertile training ground for museum professionals,” Hoogs noted.