New Bedford Whaling Museum Receives $1.5 Million Gift

Douglas and Cynthia Crocker endow Museum’s Chief Curator position

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The New Bedford Whaling Museum has received a $1.5 million gift from Douglas and Cynthia Crocker. The gift, the largest single commitment to the Museum’s endowment by individuals, will endow the Museum’s Chief Curator position.

Art enthusiasts themselves, the Crockers value the critical role museums play as active and thoughtful collectors and stewards of curatorial excellence. They have life-long ties to Marion and are longstanding patrons and supporters of the Museum, having been actively involved with the Board of Trustees and other advisory committees since 2009.

In particular, the Crockers have been moved by the vision and passion of the Museum’s curatorial team, led by Dr. Christina Connett, whose title will now be “The Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator.”

“We have been continually impressed by the vibrant and visionary exhibitions that have been thoughtfully curated by the Whaling Museum,” said Douglas Crocker. “Cindy and I wanted to make sure that those inspiring efforts will continue into the future.”

Under Connett’s curatorial leadership, the Museum has boldly propelled its mission forward through blockbuster exhibitions such as A Spectacle in Motion: The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World (the longest painting in North America), and by celebrating the Museum’s vast Collection, which ranges from rare marine mammal artifacts to fine art (including the largest collection of Dutch maritime art outside of Europe).

“We are deeply grateful to Doug and Cindy for this extraordinary investment in the Whaling Museum,” said the Museum’s President and CEO Amanda McMullen. “As an anchor of this community’s arts and culture scene, transformative gifts like this help cement our ability to be good stewards of our Collection, broaden the public’s understanding of our shared regional history, and deepen the exploration of our historic and contemporary connection with whales.”

Mr. Crocker is a retired real estate investment professional and currently serves as Chairman of DC partners, a real estate investment and development firm. In the past, he served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Vice Chairman of Equity Residential in Chicago; was Chief Executive Officer of McKinley Financial Group; and President of American Invesco, the nation’s largest condominium conversion company. Prior to her retirement, Mrs. Crocker served as Senior Vice President for Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Equity Group Investments in Chicago. A steadfast supporter of leadership training, she founded the Crocker Program for Emerging Business Leaders at Northern Illinois University (NIU), as well as the Crocker Scholarship in Business for Young Women. She currently serves as Chair of the Leadership Committee for the NIU Foundation Board and is a member of Impact 100, a women’s giving circle serving Palm Beach County.

Tina Malott
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum
508-997-0046 Ext. 140


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales in the world’s oceans, and the history and culture of the SouthCoast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: January through March, Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information, visit


High-resolution image available upon request

Caption: Douglas and Cindy Crocker, Photo credit: HughesPhoto