(OCALA, Fla.) Sept. 19, 2008 — The Appleton Museum of Art of Central Florida Community College announced Friday that it has named John Z. Lofgren, Ph.D., as the museum’s new director.

Lofgren, an accomplished museum executive and art history scholar, joins the Appleton staff on Nov. 3. Joan Stearns, CF’s executive director for college and community relations, has been overseeing museum operations since July when then director, Robin Muse McClea, left to become president of the Scottsdale Artists’ School in Arizona.

Dr. Charles Dassance, CF president, said Lofgren’s selection wraps up an extensive national search for a director who will lead the Appleton Museum to exciting new levels.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lofgren to the Central Florida Community College family as director of the Appleton Museum of Art,” Dr. Dassance said. “Dr. Lofgren is extremely personable and brings a perfect combination of executive experience running some very impressive museums and the kind of academic credentials and background in art history that will serve the museum and our community well.”

Lofgren, currently a museum consultant in California, earned his bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees in art history from the University of Oregon. Since 1976, he has served
as executive director of five museums throughout the country, including the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., from 1976-1987; the Vero Beach Museum of Art from 1996-2004; and, most recently, the Hui No’eau Visual Art Center on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Lofgren said he is honored to have been asked to lead the Appleton Museum and to build on its past successes.

“I am very impressed with the collections, the facilities, and the people I had the opportunity to meet with,” Lofgren said. “I am looking forward to, and excited about, being a part of this very special community.”

Once onboard, Lofgren said he plans to continue the Appleton’s important process of obtaining national accreditations through the American Association of Museums, something he accomplished for the Vero Beach Museum of Art during his tenure there.

Also while at Vero Beach, Lofgren oversaw renovation and expansion of the museum, which doubled its size to 54,000 square feet; increased the endowment from $600,000 to $5.7 million; and increased the operational budget from $1.1 annually to $3 million.

Lofgren also helped restore financial stability to the cash-strapped Hui No’eau Visual Art Center through implementation of a $5 million emergency capital campaign which enabled the center to purchase the property it had leased for 30 years.

During his 32-year career, Lofgren has been a member of the American Association of Museums’ Visiting Committee for Accreditation of other museums and served on grant panels for the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs. Lofgren has also served as spokesman for the Swedish American communities in the United States and Sweden.
The Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, is one of the premier art repositories in the Southeast and is owned and operated by CF. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information about the museum, call 352-291-4455, ext. 1835 or visit