Bowers President

Bowers Welcomes New President and CEO Dr. Seán O'Harrow


Bowers Museum is thrilled to announce the appointment of Seán O’Harrow, Ph.D. as its new President and CEO. Seán will be stepping into this role following the remarkable tenure of the late Dr. Peter C. Keller, who served as a beloved and visionary leader for over 31 years until his passing last November. The staff and board members of Bowers Museum express their profound gratitude for Dr. Keller’s invaluable contributions, and while honoring his legacy, they eagerly look forward to a new chapter of leadership under Dr. O’Harrow’s guidance.

Dr. Seán O’Harrow brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Bowers Museum, with an impressive career spanning over 15 years leading public and university museums. His extensive background in art history and proven track record in revenue generation, community engagement, and inclusivity make him a natural choice for this prestigious position.

“We are delighted to welcome Seán as the new President and CEO of Bowers Museum. He is an exceptional leader with a deep passion for the arts, and his vision aligns perfectly with our museum’s mission. As we honor the incredible legacy left by Dr. Peter C. Keller, we are eager to embrace this new era of leadership and continued growth under Seán’s guidance.”

- Anne Shih, Chairwoman of the Board of Governors at Bowers Museum

Born in Paris and raised in Honolulu, Dr. Seán O’Harrow is the new President & CEO of the Bowers Museum. Until recently, he was the Executive Director of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. An expert in British and American art and architecture, he previously served as the leader of the Honolulu Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, as well as serving on the board of the Iowa Arts Council. Prior to his career as a museum director, O'Harrow was an Official Fellow at Cambridge University and worked in investment finance and technology in London. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a BA from Harvard University, both in Art History.

In Loving Memory

After over three decades of leadership, it is with the greatest sadness that the Bowers Museum family announces the passing of President and CEO Dr. Peter C. Keller. Those who knew him well understood that, in many ways, his final day was an ideal one for him - putting in a full day of work in preparation for the opening of an exceptional exhibition that he was very proud of, Guo Pei: Art of Couture, followed by dinner with his wife. Click here to read full press release.

“With his leadership and experience, we have brought amazing exhibits from all around the world to Orange County.” – Anne Shih, Bowers Museum Chairwoman of the Board of Governors

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Keller's family asks that donations be made to the Bowers Museum. These funds will be used to continue his legacy and grow his favorite permanent collection exhibition Spirits & Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands. Click here to make a donation.


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