Mark Twain House Curator Leaving For New Job

Susan Dunne
Contact ReporterThe Hartford Courant

Patti Philippon, the Beatrice Fox Auerbach chief curator at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, is moving on to become executive director of the The American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol, the town where she lives, the Bristol museum announced in a press release on Monday.

Philippon's appointment is effective Sept. 22. She takes over for interim director Don Muller.

Reached at the Twain House on Monday, Philippon said she is looking forward to the new position.

"I like being able to work in a museum that is in the town that I live in and produce something good for my community," she said. "It's a great museum with amazing stories to tell. I think a lot of people know about the history of clock making in Bristol, and there are so many things you can do with the artifacts it has."

Her new daily commute will be seven minutes. "I was sitting in traffic the other day, one of the first days everyone was back in school, and Bristol to Hartford, 14 or 15 miles, took me an hour," she said. "I'm not going to miss that."

She will oversee a staff of two part-timers and several volunteers.

Philippon has been at the Twain house since 2001 in a variety of jobs: collections manager, interim executive director and, sincwe 2007, chief curator. Before the Twain, she worked at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme and Craftsman Farms Foundation of Parsippany, N.J.

During the transition period, Philippon said, the Twain curatorial work will be taken over by her assistant, Mallory Howard.

Cindy Lovell, executive director of the Mark Twain House, said of Philippon: "She has done an outstanding job at the MTH for many years. ... She will be missed, but I know this is a good decision for her and her family. We all wish her the very best and expect to keep in touch and perhaps collaborate between the two museums when opportunities present themselves."

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