Ann Townsend

Founding President @ The Museum Exchange

An art and architectural historian and internationally recognized expert in the practice of cultural diplomacy, Ann Van Devanter Townsend has organized ground-breaking projects for forty years throughout the United States and abroad. With a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University, a Fellowship in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, and an M.A. in Art History from George Washington University, Ms. Townsend’s experience ranges throughout both the public and private sectors.

On contract, she has travelled to Germany, Yugoslavia, Italy, and Poland for the U.S. Department of State; has held the position of Director, Public/Private Partnership Projects at the National Endowment for the Arts; directed the selective demolition and adaptive re-use of the last remaining 18th century house in a suburban Maryland location; as a member of the founding Board, helped determine the adaptive reuse of an abandoned mansion into the thriving Strathmore Hall Arts Center, and founded the Trust for Museum Exhibitions (TME), a museum service organization that has originated seventy travelling exhibitions, to be shown in more than 700 museums in the U.S. and abroad, working with such diverse countries as Peru, England, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Kuwait, Switzerland, Sweden, and New Zealand.

In addition to publishing numerous scholarly art catalogues, Ms. Townsend has written three books on American art history, has published articles in The Magazine Antiques and American Heritage, and has lectured widely on American painting. Her work has been reviewed favorably in Newsweek, Time, the New York Times, The Art Newspaper, and many other publications.

Currently, Ms. Townsend is on sabbatical.