Our talented Lyman Allyn staff work behind the scenes to develop exhibitions and programming that explore the Power of Art for thousands of visitors every year. By introducing you to our team, we hope to create a more personal connection with our community and share our passion for what we do.
Sam Quigley has been the Director of the Museum since May 2014. A career museum professional, he has been privileged to work in a variety of curatorial and leadership positions at several major cultural institutions. He was Keeper of Musical Instruments and Associate Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where he later served as the museum’s first Manager of Collections Information. At SFMOMA, he was Director of Collections, and at Harvard University Art Museums, he was Director of Digital Information and Technology. Most recently, at the Art Institute of Chicago, he was Vice President for Collections Management and Museum Chief Information Officer. His areas of expertise include curating, exhibition development, digitizing documentation, and harnessing digital technologies for operations and as well as for publishing museum collections. Over the years, he has developed a deep interest in modern and contemporary art which complements his degrees in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University.
Ellen Anderson is a senior Advancement professional who builds relationships and fosters donors’ interests. Now the Director of Development at the Lyman Allyn, she previously served at Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut College and UConn. A Colby graduate, she also attended the Williams–Mystic Program, which first brought her to southeastern CT and led her to crew on Pride of Baltimore. With her deep appreciation of history and art, she is committed to sustaining the growth of the Museum.
Elizabeth Anderson is a Visitor Services Attendant at the Lyman Allyn on weekends. During the week, she steps in behind the scenes to help facilitate the Museum’s database. She is a lifelong resident of southeastern Connecticut and a graduate of Connecticut College from which she holds a BA in Art with a concentration in ceramic sculpture. She also has experience in painting with acrylic and oils and drawing with charcoal and pastel. When not at the Museum, she works with her father creating art for various civic projects, including restoring and maintaining the antique horses of the Watch Hill Carousel in Westerly, RI. She enjoys the Lyman Allyn’s art enthusiastic community and creative atmosphere which has inspired her to display some of her own jewelry creations in the gift shop.
Rebecca Dawson is the Director of Communications and Visitor Services. In this position, she is responsible for developing and implementing all marketing and public relations initiatives. She also manages the Museum’s Visitor Services department, social media, graphic design, website, gift shop, and annual fundraising events. She has been with the Lyman Allyn since 2012 upon graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University with her BA in Art History. A lifelong resident of southeastern Connecticut, Becca resides in Quaker Hill with her husband and daughter.
Eileen Donovan, Director of Learning and Engagement, studied Art History at Providence College (BA) and American University (MA) with a focus in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American art. Her experience leading educational programs at other cultural organizations, including the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Walters Art Museum, Maryland Center for History & Culture, and College Park Aviation Museum, has led her towards an interdisciplinary approach to art and museum learning. In her position at the Lyman Allyn, she oversees K-12 school, family, and adult learning programs, cultivates community partnerships, and contributes to broader Museum initiatives.
Bob Hennion is the supervisor of the Building and Grounds department, where he has worked for more than 30 years. With his vast knowledge of the Museum’s structural history, he maintains and monitors all facility systems and equipment, responding to problems where and when appropriate.
Jessie Kam is the Financial Accountant at the Lyman Allyn. Previously, she managed the back office and accounting of her family business for 10 years. Her mother was an artist and during her lifetime nurtured an appreciation for the arts in all her five children. Jessie is thrilled to be able to carry her business experience forward with the thriving team at the Lyman Allyn. When taking a break from her accounting day job, she always finds new perspective viewing the Museum’s collections.
Sophie Kyle is the Visitor Services and Collections Assistant at the Lyman Allyn. Sophie recently graduated from Connecticut College (2023) with a BA in Art History and Anthropology and a Certificate in Museum Studies. During her last year at Connecticut College, Sophie interned at Lyman Allyn in the Learning and Engagement Department. She now welcomes guests and facilitates other programs as a member of the Visitor Services team. In her role as Collections Assistant, she helps to catalog objects, install and deinstall exhibitions, and keep the Museum’s mobile app up to date.
Jane LeGrow, Registrar and Director of Exhibitions, directs collections management and exhibition-related activities. She has 25 years of experience in museum registration, collections management and exhibition production. Jane holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA in Anthropology from The Pennsylvania State University. Before joining the Lyman Allyn in 2013, she worked in positions in registration and collections management at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
Curator Tanya Pohrt recently organized the Lyman Allyn’s exhibition The Way Sisters: Miniaturists of the Early Republic and contributed to the exhibition catalogue. She also curated the Museum’s Louis Comfort Tiffany in New London gallery and a range of other exhibitions. Holding a Ph.D. in American Art History from the University of Delaware (received 2013), she was previously a Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow in American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Sophia Gipstein Scirico, Learning & Engagement Coordinator, joined the staff in 2017. She studied fine art at Wheaton College (BA) and SMFA at Tufts University (post-baccalaureate certificate), in addition to earning a master’s degree in museum studies at Johns Hopkins University. In her role at the Lyman Allyn, she coordinates K-12 school and family programs, oversees and the outreach program, and contributes to social media efforts as well as other museum endeavors. Sophia grew up in Mystic, CT and visited the Lyman Allyn often as a child. She currently resides in Groton with her husband.
Julia Meylor Simpson works in Visitor Services at the welcome desk two days a week. She is retired from a career in corporate communications, having also worked as a high school English teacher and a newspaper reporter. She especially enjoys chatting with Museum guests, learning about various artists, art movements and styles—and spending time with her five grandchildren.
Chrissy Winkler, Collections Management Associate, has her BA in Art History and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies with a focus in collections management through Harvard Extension School. During her undergraduate career, she accepted an internship at Yale University Art Gallery, gaining editorial experience within an established art institution. Prior to working at the Lyman Allyn, she was a Gallery Director in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 4 years. This position provided valuable experience in art handling, collections management, and installing exhibitions.