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Charles Guerin

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Trained as a painter in the late 1970s, Charles Guerin is now surrounded by oil-on-canvas pieces from as early as the Baroque and Rococo (1680-1785) periods through the Contemporary at Dover’s Biggs Museum. As the new executive director, Guerin’s main goal is institutional.

“Based on my discussion with the board, staff and community, there is a fairly universal opinion that we need to grow this wonderful institution with bigger and better programs,” Guerin says. “It’s my job to consider the economics of that theory, determining the cost of bringing in shows and the financial returns. But from my standpoint, it’s about elevating the stature of the Biggs Museum.”

As the Biggs approaches its 25th anniversary in 2018, Guerin finds the museum at an interesting crossroads. After acquiring the first floor of the former state visitors center at 406 Federal St. and raising several million dollars to renovate the space into a first-rate gallery, the museum and its 1,900 pieces now need to “grow into itself,” Guerin says.

“The infrastructure is in place, but now we need to build things from a programmatic standpoint,” Guerin says. “The arrival of ‘The Saint John’s Bible’ exhibition will certainly help in that regard.”

The Saint John’s Bible: Illuminating the Word” will be on exhibit through late March. Called “the most important art project of the 21st century,” the exhibition features 70 pages of the first monumental, hand-illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years. It is a big deal for the Biggs, which was chosen as one of the few venues in America to host the international exhibition.

 Photo by Joel Plotkin

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