Board of Directors

Mara Williams, Chair

Mara Williams has been curating exhibits at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center for thirty years. In addition to Brattleboro, her exhibits have been seen by audiences at Tufts University Art Gallery, Florence Griswold Museum, Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, University of New Hampshire Art Gallery, and a number of galleries in New York City. She holds an A.B. in theatre from Boston College, an MFA in museology from Syracuse University, and has completed doctoral course work and comprehensives in comparative arts at New York University. She has served as Board Chair of the Vermont Arts Council, on the Board of the New England Museum Association, as well as three terms on the Senate Curatorial Advisory Committee for the U.S. Capitol.

David Kapp, Treasurer

David Kapp is a painter who lives and works in Friendship, Maine. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally since 1982 and can be found in museums and public collections in the United States and Europe including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and the Foundation Paribas, Paris, France. He has been a Visiting Artist and Lecturer at Brandeis University, Fordham University, the Vermont Studio Center, Hampshire College, Haverford College, and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. Kapp served on the Board of The National Academy of Design from 2008 to 2016 and was Board Chair from 2012 to 2015.

Dean Nicyper, Secretary

Dean Nicyper heads Withers Bergman LLP’s Dispute Resolution Division in the United States. For the past two decades, Mr. Nicyper’s practice has focused on commercial disputes with a significant focus on art disputes. Among his various clients, Mr. Nicyper has successfully represented one of the two largest art auction houses for more than twenty years. He also has represented artists and their families and foundations, art dealers and agents, art collectors and art appraisers in many art-related disputes. He served as the Chair of the Art Law Committee of the Association of the Bar for the City of New York from 2013 to 2016.

Bo Foard

Bo Foard is the owner and founder of Foard Panel Inc. in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire and The Porch Cafe in Brattleboro, Vermont. He is the current president of the Timber Framers Guild and former president of the New England Youth Theatre Board. He is the father of four children and lives in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire.

Cecily Kahn

Cecily Kahn is an abstract painter with a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She is a current member of the American Abstract Artists association and a founding member of The Painting Center, an artist-run gallery in New York City. Her work has been exhibited across the country, including at the National Academy Museum, the New Britain Museum, and the Brattleboro Museum. She is the eldest daughter of Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason, and is married to the painter David Kapp.

Robert A. Mandell

Ambassador Robert “Bobby” Mandell is a retired U.S. Ambassador and real estate developer. Bobby served as U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg from 2011 to 2015. Prior to being nominated by President Obama, he served as chairman and CEO of Greater Properties Inc., a real estate development company in Orlando. Bobby also served as the chairman and CEO of The Greater Construction Corp. from 1998 until 2005, and as member of President Obama’s Export Council from 2010 to 2011.

Bobby is a member of the advisory board of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and a member of the board and executive committee of Human Rights First. He is currently the Senior Mentor for all new non-career US Ambassadors as a consultant to the Dept. of State. Bobby previously served as the capital campaign co-chair for UCP of Central Florida’s East Orange Bailes Campus. He also chaired the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority and the Environmental Regulation Commission of Florida.

Bobby is a graduate of the University of Florida and its law school, and a graduate of the OPM Executive Program at Harvard Business School.

Lydia Peabody

Lydia Peabody is a specialist in modern and contemporary art. At the Peabody Essex Museum, she is currently working on Bethany Collins, America: A Hymnal (2023) and Gio Swaby: Fresh Up (2023). Previously, Peabody served as the coordinating curator for the nationally touring and critically acclaimed exhibition Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle (2020-2021) and Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction (2019). Peabody is curator of Vanessa Platacis: Taking Place (2019-ongoing), a long-term site-specific painting installation. Her book publication projects include Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle (PEM/University of Washington Press, 2019) and Inappropriate Bodies: Art, Design, and Maternity (Demeter Press, 2019). Peabody’s writing can be seen in Hyperallergic, ARTnews, and Boston Art Review.

Peabody earned her BA in Art Administration from Simmons College and her Dual MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism, Art Administration & Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research interests include 20th century American art and global contemporary art, architecture, and design surrounding themes of identity and representation.

Peabody lives on the north shore of Massachusetts with her husband, Charlie.

Michael Rubenstein

I met Wolf and Emily at Wolf’s Grace Borgenicht Gallery opening in March 1965. His brother Peter, who was a teacher of mine at Cornell, introduced us.

We became fast friends. I, and when I married, my wife and I, became collectors of both Wolf’s and Emily’s work. I was the architect for both of their studios, Emily’s in 1981 and Wolf’s in 1993.

I started collecting art in 1954. My wife joined me in 1967 and I continue to do so. Consisting primarily of works on paper, the collection spans a 200-year period starting with two drawings by Theodora Gericault. In January of 2000 at the Met/Breuer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited a third of our donation promised to them in honor of their 150th Anniversary.

I have previously served on the boards of the Raoul Hague Foundation and The New York Studio School and am presently a member of the board of the Dorothea Rockburne Foundation.