AUBURN, Ind. (AP) – An Indiana native with a passion for history and automobiles is taking the wheel of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. Brandon Anderson began his duties recently as the fifth executive director in the museum’s 44-year history.
Anderson is coming from The History Museum in his native South Bend, where he has served as deputy executive director for the past 5½ years. He said it is run by the second-oldest and second-largest historical society in the state.
“It was hard for me to leave, but this was totally the right place for me to go,” he said. “To be able to lead such as an excellent institution as this, It’s definitely an honor to be chosen to be the next executive and CEO.”
Anderson studied historic preservation and architectural history at the Savannah College of Art in Georgia. He earned a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Oklahoma.
His professional resume includes working at Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina, that state’s first capitol building, and at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida.
“Museums are my life and my love. This is all I’ll ever do,” he said.
Anderson previously visited Auburn’s museum when he was in elementary school, he said. He grew up in a family of automobile enthusiasts. His father taught him auto body skills and built his own professional-quality paint shop, and they worked together restoring cars.
“I’m in my 30s, and I’ve had probably about 16 cars,” he said. “It really runs in the blood.”
Currently, Anderson’s only ride is a practical 2015 Nissan Altima, but he is “on the hunt” for a restored Volkswagen Beetle. He has moved to his newly purchased home south of Auburn.
Anderson said his goal is “making the museum known for being ‘the nation’s automobile museum.’”
He added, “We’re going to capitalize on all the assets we have here. We’re beyond an automobile museum.” The museum has “a stellar collection” that includes more than classic cars, he said, citing its collection of artifacts, rich archives fine art and period rooms.
“To top it all off, we’re in this incredibly gorgeous building,” with National Historic Landmark status, he said. It ranks as one of only two automobile museums that are nationally accredited museums.
“We are very fortunate that we get to be the stewards of this building and this collection and be here as a public trust,” he said. He will lead a staff of more than 20 employees at the museum.
Anderson said he intends to cooperate with local organizations toward common goals.
“We all have to work together to benefit this area and to bring people here,” he said. “It will take the support of our community and those who treasure this jewel that we have.”
By DAVE KURTZ, The Star
Source: The (Auburn) Star
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