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Protecting the quality of life since 1944.

John Blades

John Blades

Liaison Directors

After a career spanning more than 20 years at one of America’s best known Gilded Age historic house museums, Hearst Castle, in San Simeon, California, John Blades was appointed executive director of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in 1995. Over the next two decades, he oversaw two dozen capital projects that restored Whitehall to its original glory, making it one of the most respected house museums in the nation.

During his tenure, the Flagler Museum was re-accredited twice by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and received more than 70 local, state, regional, and national awards. These included the designation of the museum as a National Historic Landmark, the Ross Merrill Award (the only national award for conservation), and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museums and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

John Blades earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Field Biology from California Polytechnic University and attended graduate school at Texas Christian University. He is also a graduate of the Getty Trust’s Museum Management Institute. He has served as the chairman of both the Cultural Executives Committee and the Long-Range Cultural Planning Committee of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. He has served on the American Alliance of Museum’s (AAM) Governance Task Force, as the treasurer/secretary of the Historic House Museums Professional Interest Council for the AAM, as a member of the AAM’s Programming Committee, a reviewer for the AAM’s Museum Assessment Program, and as a visiting committee member for the AAM’s Accreditation program.

Mr. Blades also has served as vice president of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, on the Advisory Board of Governors for the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, as president of the Florida Art Museum Directors Association, as a board member of the Florida Association of Museums and as president of the Mozart Festival in San Luis Obispo, California.

Mr. Blades retired from the Flagler Museum in 2016. However, he was recently appointed as its acting executive director.

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