Jonathan Wright named horticulturist at Indianapolis museum

Jonathan Wright. Indianapolis Museum of Art image

Jonathan Wright. Indianapolis Museum of Art image


INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Museum of Art named Jonathan M. Wright its Ruth Lilly Deputy Director for Horticulture and Natural Resources on Wednesday following a national search.

Wright holds a bachelor’s degree from Temple University where he graduated magna cum laude in ornamental horticulture. He also completed Longwood Gardens’ Professional Gardener Program and the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leaders: The Next Generation Program. He is a nonprofit garden specialist who has distinguished himself in the horticultural field through his creativity and extensive knowledge of plants and international garden design.

Previous to his IMA appointment, Wright was a horticulturist for nearly 12 years at the Chanticleer Foundation in Wayne, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. The Chanticleer Foundation maintains and advances its mission through a 48-acre “Pleasure Garden.” Originally the garden was the private estate of the Rosengarten family, who made a fortune in the pharmaceutical business. Since being opened to the public in 1993, Chanticleer has become internationally renowned as a training ground for great horticulturalists and for exceptional plant displays. Wright most recently designed and maintained the sumptuous gardens surrounding Chanticleer House.

Wright has lectured widely and was a contributor to the new and highly acclaimed book, The Art of Gardening, design inspiration and planting techniques from Chanticleer (2015).

Working with Director and CEO Charles L. Venable, the IMA board of governors and staff, Wright will develop a long-range master plan and a five-year strategic plan for IMA’s horticultural and natural resources, including the gardens, Gene and Rosemary Tanner Orchard and natural landscapes associated with Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens (Percival Gallagher of the Olmsted Brothers, designer, 1920), Westerley House estate (Jens Jensen, designer, 1922), Miller House & Garden (Dan Kiley, designer, 1953), IMA museum building; and The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park: 100 Acres (Marlon Blackwell, Edward L. Blake Jr., designers, 2010).

Wright will join the IMA’s senior leadership team in early March.