Three contributors to the preservation of history, arts and culture on the Island ­— Kate Hancock, Jim Richardson and Chris Scott — were honored at the ninth annual Martha’s Vineyard Museum's Medal ceremony on Monday. Guests gathered at the old Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven, where demolition is underway for the museum’s restoration and relocation, taking part in the medal ceremony and the 95th annual meeting of the museum.

Honoree Chris Scott seemed at home on a project site, having served as executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust for 25 years. Former trust president Robert Cox presented Mr. Scott with his award. Mr. Cox described Mr. Scott’s move to the Island in 1992 to head the trust as “our good fortune.”

“He brought to the trust extensive experience in historic preservation and a serious commitment to the restoration of living institutions to their rightful place in Island life,” Mr. Cox said.

Chris Scott (left) was executive director of the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust for 25 years. — Mark Lovewell

Mr. Cox highlighted the expansion of the trust’s holdings from seven to 25 properties over the tenure of Mr. Scott’s career, including Alley’s General Store, the Grange Hall, the Old Sculpin Gallery, and Slipaway Farm.

Mr. Scott thanked the museum for the honor and shared that the Marine Hospital had almost become a trust property. “The thing that I am really proud of was that we added so many properties to preservation trust while I was there, and there was almost one more, it could’ve been this one,” he said.

Ultimately, the Preservation Trust decided to pass on the challenging property, and Mr. Scott shared his excitement that the museum had taken it on. “I’m so delighted that you as an organization have had the courage and the vision and the money and the wherewithal to transform this into what’s going to be a fantastic, fantastic museum for the Island.”

Medal recipient Jim Richardson has seen the Martha’s Vineyard Museum through a few transformations already, having served on the museum’s board and a number of committees over the years. But his attachment to the Island’s history goes back much further.

Bonnie Stacy, chief curator of the museum, said Mr. Richardson first got involved at age 10 with the precursor to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, the Dukes County Historical Society. As a teenager in the 1940s, he worked with Gale Huntington, the editor of the Dukes County Intelligencer, who invited him on Island excavations.

Jim Richardson, a professor and curator of anthropology, served on the museum's board. — Mark Lovewell

This early introduction to archeology set the course for his career. Mr. Richardson was the curator of anthropology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and served as a professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. He assisted noted archeologist William Ritchie with digs in New York, pointing out the similarities of their finds to Vineyard artifacts, which led to the publication of the first professional archeological text about the Island in 1969, The Archaeology of Martha’s Vineyard.

Mr. Richardson has also made significant donations to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum with artifacts from his own collections.

“And it’s not just the things,” Ms. Stacy said. “Over the years Jim has served on the museum’s board of directors, providing guidance as the chair of the collections committee, and member of committees on planning of the building and exhibitions for the new museum.”

Mr. Richardson gratefully accepted his award and noted the serendipity and luck that led him to the occasion.

Kate Hancock (left) is the gallery manager at Featherstone Center for the Arts. — Mark Lovewell

Ann Smith, director of Featherstone Center for the Arts, described a chance encounter through which she met Kate Hancock, the third recipient of the Martha’s Vineyard Medal. They met in 2010 at the memorial service for Jerry McCarthy, where Ms. Hancock was helping to keep the dessert table stocked.

“I immediately respected her distinctive grace,” Ms. Smith said. She asked Ms. Hancock to join the board and volunteer at Featherstone, where she became an invaluable asset to the organization. She now serves as the gallery manager for Featherstone, hanging over 30 shows per year. Ms. Hancock is also the gallery manager of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, an author of multiple plays, musicals and novels, and a docent in the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s Conversations Outreach Program.

“She can capture the attention of seniors as well as children with her wicked sense of humor, dramatic flair and boundless energy,” Ms. Smith said. “While quiet and unassuming at first, Kate is a one-woman show, a real life encyclopedia of all things theatre, literature, and show tunes. She brings art and history to life.”

During the meeting, members of the museum’s board of directors gave brief remarks. Executive director Phil Wallis stressed the importance of access, history and the diverse heritage of the Island to the upcoming transformation of the museum.

Treasurer Dale Garth presented an overview of the museum’s financials. In fiscal year 2016, the museum had a surplus of $13,834. Mr. Garth noted the success of the capital campaign, which netted over $3.1 million in cash and pledges to bring the campaign to $15 million by the year’s end. He also highlighted the growth of the endowment, which hit $1.2 million in 2016.

The meeting adjourned and guests mingled during the reception that followed as artists stationed on the grassy hill painted en plein air oil compositions of the bucolic scene.