AMHERST – It hasn’t taken long for the new curator of the Cumberland County Museum to get accustomed to her surroundings.
Diana Shaw replaced former curator/manager Shirley Nickerson in mid-June and has been busy since then planning a number of events for the facility.
“It’s one of those jobs that I can’t wait to get to every morning because there’s always something new and challenging,” said Shaw, speaking to members of the Amherst Rotary Club on Monday.
A native of Springhill, Shaw got her bachelor of arts at Acadia and her bachelor of education at St. Mary’s University before studying counseling at UNB.
She taught in New Brunswick for a number of years and went into business with her former husband opening a marketing and consulting firm doing work for companies such as J.D. Irving and for the Moncton Chamber of Commerce.
Shaw moved to Amherst and did some contract teaching as well as some term work at the museum. She was prepared to move to North Carolina to teach Canadian social studies when her mother fell ill.
When Nickerson left the position in June, Shaw decided to put her name forward.
Working with the board, Shaw is already assembling a busy calendar including the annual Four Fathers Dinner on Sept. 22.
“Ticket details have just been finalized and we’re hoping to begin selling tickets very soon,” she said.
She is also working to bring a tour of antique Rolls Royce owners to Amherst in September and has begun planning an exhibit of the photography of the late Ron Smith.
Smith, who led the campaign to purchase the museum building more than 30 years ago, was active in Rotary and operated a photography studio with his brother. The firm also did contract work for the New Brunswick Department of Tourism for nearly two decades.
“He made a significant contribution to the photography of the area and a significant contribution to the Cumberland County Museum,” Shaw said.
And, just as Smith and a group of community leaders led a campaign to purchase the former home of Father of Confederation R.B. Dickey to house the museum, Shaw is hoping to see a capital campaign that will enable the museum to house its entire collection on the property.
“Right now our collection is so large that we have a number of items stored off site,” she said. “It’s important to have the collection in a place where it’s protected from light, heat and humidity. We have an excellent location at the museum, but we don’t have the space.”