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What's Up Magazine

Towne Salute: Joyce Doehler of the Academy Art Museum

Nov 16, 2017 09:00AM
By Sabrina Jordan

To Joyce Doehler, art means much more than appreciating a visual masterpiece only for its beauty or the emotions that it stirs within. Art means building a community of like-minded individuals that also provides a medium to be intellectually enlightened.

The Academy Art Museum in Easton opened up a whole new world for Doehler when she became involved with the organization 25 years ago.

Doehler, her husband and two children, moved from Washington D.C. to Easton in search of more space and privacy. After their arrival, a friend of hers introduced her to the museum and encouraged her interest. She began volunteering and was soon surrounded by amazing characters with creative spirits. It was then that Doehler knew she was entering a place that would positively impact her life.

“This organization is such a wonderful vehicle to meet people and to explore differences that never occurred to you before,” Doehler explains. “Learning is intoxicating no matter what age. We are very fortunate to have these venues, wonderful courses, wonderful lectures, a great commonality, and many interesting people.”

Previously, Doehler was a journalist for The Washington Post during her time in D.C., and transitioned to becoming a designer while simultaneously volunteering. She has held numerous positions for the Academy of Art Museum over the years, including being a chair on the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2016. She was also a member of the landscape and architectural committees, and nominating committees.

Doehler organized the annual spring events, the academy craft shows, the children’s exhibitions, and the member’s exhibitions. She developed the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2008, along with two other members.

“Raising the money for a cause that I connect with and strongly believe in feels rewarding,” Doehler admits. “You need to have very good people behind these projects to go forth with the vision. Everybody is very proud of what we are and where we are going. We have very cosmopolitan people at the height of their careers and we all want to see them excel. Most of these people could live anywhere in the world, and they choose to live here, and be a part of our community.”

Doehler is very proud of her beloved art museum. One of her best memories was when the gallery received works from James Turrell, a “big-league” artist whose compositions concern light and space. Some of her other favorites include the Rothko exhibit, The Rubens, and their permanent exhibition of The Rauschenberg.

The organization was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, an honor granted to less than five percent of U.S. museums. Academy Art Museum has a professional relationship with the National Gallery of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Museum.

“I’m very happy and proud that the museum is acknowledged by many institutions as an accountable and distinguished establishment, though I’m not surprised,” Doehler says. “We are recognized for our mission of being connectors and sharing positive experiences with the community. It’s also a mission that aims to crystalize who you are and reinforce what you value.”

Doehler encourages everyone to take a break from the constant bombardment of technological devices, the interruptions posed by social media, and liberate your creativity and your mind with the Academy Art Museum.

For more information on the Academy Art Museum, visit

Do you have a volunteer to nominate? Email Nicole Gould at