Author and Curator Named New Executive Director of Wright’s Ferry Mansion at Columbia | Entertainment

As it prepares to reopen for the season in May, Wright’s Ferry Mansion has appointed a new executive director, James Archer Abbott.

Abbott comes to the Lewes Historical Society’s Columbia Historic Site in Lewes, Delaware.

He was curator or director of museums in Baltimore; Washington D.C.; and New York’s Hudson Valley, according to a news release. Abbott’s other previous positions include Director and Curator of Evergreen Museum and Library at Johns Hopkins University, Curator of Woodrow Wilson House, and Curator of Decorative Arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Abbott has written several books, including his most recent, “Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration and its Legacy,” co-authored with Elaine Rice Bachmann.

In the press release, Abbot says the mansion “celebrates 18th-century colonial design and craftsmanship and an exceptional collection of fine and decorative arts. The immediate lands provide an important context for the development of American commerce and private enterprise.

“It’s rare to have such an opportunity to celebrate and engage with history on the level offered by Wright’s Ferry Mansion,” says Abbot, adding that he hopes to develop a visitor center and gallery for visitors. learning in a building adjacent to the mansion.

The colonial mansion was built in 1738 for original owner Susanna Wright, poet, businesswoman and Quaker scholar. It is unique in Pennsylvania for its early 18th century architecture, furnishings, and decorative arts.

The mansion is located at 38 S. Second St., Columbia, is maintained by the Louise Steinman von Hess Foundation.

It is open for visits from Wednesday to Saturday, from May to October. For more information on the mansion, visit its Facebook page at

Lola R. McClure