Executive Director

Joan Whitlow


Joan received her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester England’s Distance Learning Program. Her expertise in collections care and museum operations is a result of more than thirty years of professional experience (eleven years at Peabody Essex Museum, and twenty at the MIT Museum). Joan has also served as a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and is currently on the Board of Directors at the Danvers Historical Society.

As the Executive Director Joan will bring the weight of her vast experience in order to care for and rehabilitate the museum’s largest collection object: the historic granite building in which the museum resides. Joan views this as an opportunity to build collaborative relationships, and implement fresh ideas and initiatives within this tightknit community, while continuing to demonstrate history’s relevance in our contemporary world.

Assistant Director/Curator

Sean Palmatier


Sean holds a BFA focused on fine art methodology, and art history from Montserrat College of Art, a Master’s Degree in History from Salem State University, and a Public History Graduate Certificate from Northeastern University. A material culture historian of early America, Sean has assisted in reorganization and cataloguing efforts with numerous small history museum collections. Having also trained as a professional artist, his experience in design and exhibit planning, combined with his historical research expertise and passion for museums, he plans to invigorate the CHMM with new exhibits and programming reflective of the untapped potential in the museum’s collection.


Newburyport Maritime Society 

Officers & Directors

Douglas Muir, Chair

Susan Bernhard, Vice Chair

Michael Laureno, Treasurer

Thomas Gould, Clerk

Elizabeth Lorayne

Jack J. Santos

Katelyn Leary

Thomas Strickler

Robert A. Dignan, Jr.