Carnegie Museum of Natural History announces new Exhibitions Director

Sarah Crawford brings exhibition experience from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Field Museum, and San Diego Museum of Us.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Sarah Crawford, Director of Exhibitions at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Image credit: Tim Evans

Following a national search, Carnegie Museum of Natural History welcomes Sarah Crawford as its new Director of Exhibitions. Crawford succeeds Becca Shreckengast, who left the museum earlier in 2020.

Crawford joined the museum on November 23 and has relocated from Los Angeles, CA with her husband Evan Burbridge. She formerly served as Senior Manager of Exhibition Design and Development at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Prior to her position at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County she was an exhibition developer at the San Diego Museum of Us, San Diego, CA and the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL.

Crawford has developed 18 permanent, temporary, and traveling exhibitions including The Cyrus Tang Hall of China, Mummies: Images of the Afterlife, PostSecret, and Rise Up LA: A Century of Votes for Women. She holds an MFA degree in museum exhibition planning and design from University of the Arts in Philadelphia and earlier worked as an art director at Elisco Advertising and Blattner Bruner agencies in Pittsburgh.

“I’m thrilled to return to Pittsburgh and to become part of this amazing community once again,” said Crawford. “It’s such an honor to join the team of this beloved museum and the entire Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh family. I look forward to advancing the great work of those who have led this wonderful exhibitions department before me.”

“From a very impressive group of candidates, Sarah emerged as a clear favorite,” said Stephen Tonsor, Daniel G. and Carole L. Kamin Interim Director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “Her ingenuity and aesthetic in exhibit design, her mastery in making the most of her budget, her embrace of the collaborative ethic we’ve been working on in the natural history museum, and her unbridled enthusiasm made it clear to us that she is the kind of leader we’ve been seeking. We are very fortunate that she has joined us and look forward to a bright future for exhibits in the museum.”

Crawford’s extensive experience will prove valuable as the museum embarks on an interpretive masterplan that will guide a re-framing of the museum’s classic content while looking to the future with a focus on the Anthropocene, the proposed name of the current geological age of profound human impact on all planetary systems.

Crawford was selected following a national search guided by senior search consultant Daniel Keegan of Museum Search & Reference, a firm in Manchester, NH and Boston, MA, of which the Principal is Marilyn Hoffman.

About Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of millions of objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,