Stephanie Reyer: meeting old things for the first time, like Philadelphia and the Constitution

As filed last week for today’s edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal.reyer-stephanie.jpg

If only Stephanie Reyer could find a good dry cleaner.

The new director of exhibits at the National Constitution Center left a lifetime in New York and a career at the American Museum of Natural History in the city.

“I’m the new kid on the block again,” she said. “It’s both challenging and invigorating.”

She had a long tenure as the associate director of exhibition graphic design for the American Museum of Natural History during which it transitioned from a dusty after-thought to a first-date spot, but thought it a time to move on.

“After nine years, what we did was established,” she said. “You start looking for new adventures.”

So, she moved to Center City.

“The lifestyle here is fantastic, an amazingly walkable city, amazing beautiful,” she said. “It has everything New York does, on a scale that’s more human.”

She started Feb. 25, just enough time to get some homework done, part of her professional move from a science museum to one focused on American history.

“I’m doing a lot of reading,” she said. “I wish i had the way to keep it all in my head.”

In her new role, she’ll oversee the center’s exhibition program, including developing original exhibits and courting top traveling exhibits. Through her responsibilities Reyer said she hopes to further attract visitors to one of the top academic attractions in the region.

“We need to give people a reason to come and come back over and over again,” she said.

The excitement of presidential politics has Reyer already looking toward to celebrating Constitution Day on Sept. 17, when the center will host an exhibit following the course national political candidates follow. Until then, Reyer can better familiarize herself with Philadelphia.

“It’s the first time I’ve had a new job in a long time,” she said. “It’s actually been a really great transition.”

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