Executive Director, Coral Gables Museum
John Allen is a third-generation Miamian, born in Coral Gables and raised there and in Pinecrest. He is a graduate of the University of Miami, where he also pursued post-grad studies. Allen joined Gables-based Home Financing Center in 1994 and worked there until 2017, his last seven years as Executive VP of Operations. Allen has served with many community organizations, including as chairman of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2016-2017. John Allen Jr. currently serves on the board of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. In 2017 he became the executive director of the Coral Gables Museum.
Conceiving and launching the museum’s current blockbuster exhibit on the history of the Miami Herald. Also dramatically increased fundraising for the museum, created its Historic Research Division, and connected it to Art Basel.
What He says
“What I found most challenging was learning the intricacies of museography – laying out an exhibit to its greatest effect,” says Allen. “It’s fascinating to learn the nuances and tricks that make an exhibit really excellent.” The strength of the museum, says Allen, is “a combination of the built environment, history, the arts and historic research. It’s not a typical contemporary art museum. You can’t pigeonhole it into one space. We are a civic museum, so we look at all the civic arts. It gives us a chance to do things other museums might not do, like our Lincoln Cemetery exhibit, or the Herald.”