Laurie Sowd

Vice President for Operations at The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

Laurie Sowd

Laurie Sowd

Vice President for Operations at The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

Biography

June 15, 2011
LAURIE SOWD
VICE PRESIDENT
HUNTINGTON'S

Laurie Sowd has been named vice president for operations at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Sowd, a member of the Huntington’s senior staff, has been directing operations for 19 years; her promotion to vice president reflects her significant and growing portfolio of responsibilities, says Steven S. Koblik, Huntington president.

Sowd is responsible for managing The Huntington’s facilities, all construction projects, security, emergency planning, and information systems. She is also in charge of the institution’s risk management program, heading up contract negotiations, overseeing property, liability and fine arts insurance, and related matters.

In addition, she oversees The Huntington’s Building and Grounds Committee, composed of Trustees and Overseers who guide decisions having to do with institutional planning for development, preservation, and conservation of the Huntington property.

Sowd currently heads The Huntington’s new Education and Visitor Center project, a $60 million complex of gardens and facilities that will replace the existing ticketing area. That project, being designed by Architectural Resources Group, the firm that led the historic renovation of the Huntington Art Gallery, is now undergoing environmental review by the City of San Marino. In tandem with the new complex, Sowd is overseeing the institution’s role in updating the San Marino ordinance that governs The Huntington’s operations.

Before coming to The Huntington in 1992, Sowd held positions in operations and special projects at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Before that, she worked at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and for the San Francisco Opera. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music from Bowling Green State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles.

She is on the board of directors for the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.

Overview
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83

Number of Boards

1

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Relationships
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Former Vice Chairman at Glendale Pops Orchestra

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Director, Foundations Administration at Whittier Trust Co.

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Member, Board of Overseers at The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

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Emeritus Member, Board of Directors at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Director at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Director at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Secretary at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Secretary at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Director at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Director at Pasadena Conservatory of Music

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Laurie Sowd
Vice President for Operations at The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Career History
Vice President for Operations
Tenure Unconfirmed

Welcome to The Huntington, one of the world’s great cultural, research, and educational centers. A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California. Huntington was also a man of vision – with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from a geographic range spanning the globe. These three distinct facets of The Huntington are linked by a devotion to research, education, and beauty. shakespearefolioLibrary The Library’s collection of rare books and manuscripts in the fields of British and American history and literature is nothing short of extraordinary. For qualified scholars, The Huntington is one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the United States in its fields of specialization. For the general public, the Library has on display some of the finest rare books and manuscripts of Anglo-American civilization. Altogether, there are about 6 million items. Among the treasures for research and exhibition are the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works. The Huntington also is among the nation’s most important centers for the study of the American West, with an unsurpassed collection of materials that span the full range of American western settlement, including the overland pioneer experience, the Gold Rush, and the development of Southern California. The Munger Research Center, the newest addition to the Library structure, adds 90,000 square feet of space for scholars and staff, preservation, conservation, and storage. hugfrenchartArt Collections The Art Collections are distinguished by their specialized character and elegant settings in three separate galleries on the Huntington grounds. A fourth space, the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, hosts changing exhibitions. The Huntington Art Gallery, originally the Huntington residence, contains one of the most comprehensive collections in this country of 18th- and 19th-century British and French art. It serves as home to Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie. On display in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, The Huntington’s American art collection includes works from the 1690s to the 1950s, including important paintings such as Mary Cassatt’s Breakfast in Bed, Frederic Edwin Church’s Chimborazo, and Edward Hopper’s The Long Leg. admissionpicBotanical Gardens The Botanical Gardens are an ever-changing exhibition of color and a constant delight. Covering 120 acres, more than a dozen specialized gardens are arranged within a park-like landscape of rolling lawns. Among the most remarkable are the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese garden. The camellia collection is one of the largest in the country. Other important botanical attractions include the Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, and Palm gardens. To the north of the Scott Galleries sits the Botanical Education Center, featuring the Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden, the Teaching Greenhouse, and The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science. The Conservatory provides children and families with exhibits designed to capture the imagination, engage the senses, and teach some of the fundamentals of botany. The Children’s Garden is most suitable for kids ages 2-7; the Conservatory is designed for middle-school-age students. Research Scholars come from around the world every year to conduct advanced humanities research using The Huntington’s collections. Through a rigorous peer-review program, the institution awards 120-130 grants to scholars in the fields of history, literature, art, and the history of science. Through the Huntington Library Press, the institution produces the Huntington Library Quarterly and several books each year. Scholarly pursuits lead to best-selling books, Pulitzer Prizes, acclaimed documentary films, and many of the history and social studies textbooks that educate the nation’s school children. Research activities at The Huntington also include scholarly conferences and workshops, symposia, special lectures, and a multitude of collaborations. Readers (as scholars at The Huntington are known) registered to use the collections have included Nobel Laureates (Richard Feynman), Oscar winners (Katharine Hepburn), Grammy winners (Ian Whitcomb), and Pulitzer Prize winners (some 20 Pulitzer Prize-winning historians and other major prize winners have used the collections). Their work has cut across many fields: literature (Wallace Stegner), history (James McPherson, Irving Stone, and Gordon Wood), film and television (George Cukor and Ken Burns), and astronomy (Edwin Hubble), among others. Education The Huntington’s education programs serve a broad audience and provide enrichment for members of the institution, casual visitors, school teachers, children, and adults. Programs range from lively activities for preschoolers to intensive five-week institutes for K-12 classroom teachers. On average, The Huntington’s school programs serve approximately 12,000 children and 750 teachers each year. Students from throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties participate in 11 different school field trip programs, free of charge. Lesson plans in science, art, and the humanities, developed by Huntington educators and scholars, and that feature The Huntington’s collections, are put to use in schools nationwide.

Boards & Committees
Director
Current

THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF THE PASADENA CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (THE CONSERVATORY) IS TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS TO STUDY, PERFORM, AND ENJOY MUSIC. TO DELIVER A COMPREHENSIVE MUSIC CURRICULUM OF INDIVIDUAL LESSONS AND ENSEMBLE INSTRUCTION, THE CONSERVATORY IS ORGANIZED BY 10 DEPARTMENTS: CHAMBER MUSIC, GUITAR, JAZZ STUDIES, OUTREACH, PIANO, STRINGS, VOCAL ARTS, THEORY/HISTORY/COMPOSITION, WOODWINDS/BRASS/PERCUSSION, AND YOUNG MUSICIANS (AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM). ADDITIONALLY, THE CONSERVATORY OFFERS A COMPREHENSIVE ARRAY OF PROGRAMS FOR ADULT STUDENTS, A NATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, AND PRESENTS AN EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE OF PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BY STUDENTS, FACULTY AND GUEST ARTISTS.

Non-Profit Donations & Grants

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$1,000 - $2,499
2014

THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF THE PASADENA CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (THE CONSERVATORY) IS TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS TO STUDY, PERFORM, AND ENJOY MUSIC. TO DELIVER A COMPREHENSIVE MUSIC CURRICULUM OF INDIVIDUAL LESSONS AND ENSEMBLE INSTRUCTION, THE CONSERVATORY IS ORGANIZED BY 10 DEPARTMENTS: CHAMBER MUSIC, GUITAR, JAZZ STUDIES, OUTREACH, PIANO, STRINGS, VOCAL ARTS, THEORY/HISTORY/COMPOSITION, WOODWINDS/BRASS/PERCUSSION, AND YOUNG MUSICIANS (AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM). ADDITIONALLY, THE CONSERVATORY OFFERS A COMPREHENSIVE ARRAY OF PROGRAMS FOR ADULT STUDENTS, A NATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, AND PRESENTS AN EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE OF PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BY STUDENTS, FACULTY AND GUEST ARTISTS.

$1,000 - $4,999
2013

THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF THE PASADENA CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (THE CONSERVATORY) IS TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS TO STUDY, PERFORM, AND ENJOY MUSIC. TO DELIVER A COMPREHENSIVE MUSIC CURRICULUM OF INDIVIDUAL LESSONS AND ENSEMBLE INSTRUCTION, THE CONSERVATORY IS ORGANIZED BY 10 DEPARTMENTS: CHAMBER MUSIC, GUITAR, JAZZ STUDIES, OUTREACH, PIANO, STRINGS, VOCAL ARTS, THEORY/HISTORY/COMPOSITION, WOODWINDS/BRASS/PERCUSSION, AND YOUNG MUSICIANS (AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM). ADDITIONALLY, THE CONSERVATORY OFFERS A COMPREHENSIVE ARRAY OF PROGRAMS FOR ADULT STUDENTS, A NATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, AND PRESENTS AN EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE OF PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BY STUDENTS, FACULTY AND GUEST ARTISTS.

$1,000 - $4,999
2012

THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF THE PASADENA CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (THE CONSERVATORY) IS TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS TO STUDY, PERFORM, AND ENJOY MUSIC. TO DELIVER A COMPREHENSIVE MUSIC CURRICULUM OF INDIVIDUAL LESSONS AND ENSEMBLE INSTRUCTION, THE CONSERVATORY IS ORGANIZED BY 10 DEPARTMENTS: CHAMBER MUSIC, GUITAR, JAZZ STUDIES, OUTREACH, PIANO, STRINGS, VOCAL ARTS, THEORY/HISTORY/COMPOSITION, WOODWINDS/BRASS/PERCUSSION, AND YOUNG MUSICIANS (AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM). ADDITIONALLY, THE CONSERVATORY OFFERS A COMPREHENSIVE ARRAY OF PROGRAMS FOR ADULT STUDENTS, A NATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION, AND PRESENTS AN EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE OF PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BY STUDENTS, FACULTY AND GUEST ARTISTS.

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