Guggenheim Director Richard Armstrong to Depart Museum After 15 Years – ARTnews.com


The longtime director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Basis, which oversees the namesake New York museum and three different worldwide outposts, will depart from his place in 2023 after 14 years there.

For now, Richard Armstrong will proceed to guide the Guggenheim Museum and work with the board in a search to fill the place. A consultant stated the Guggenheim didn’t present a motive for his departure, which was introduced first by Armstrong himself in a Monetary Instances profile this week.

“I’ve had the chance to guide efforts that guarantee strong footing and ship a sturdy international cultural program for the Guggenheim,” Armstrong stated in a press release. “I’m happy with what we have now achieved together with: caring for the workers, embracing ideas round DEAI and sustainability, defining our model for the long run, and coming via the pandemic with monetary well being.”

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Guggenheim Director Richard Armstrong to Depart

Since 2008, Armstrong has overseen the New York basis and museum in addition to its satellites in Venice and Bilbao, in addition to plans for one forthcoming in Abu Dhabi. He succeeded the museum’s former director Thomas Krens, main a push to broaden the museum’s attain internationally and additional securing the museum’s monetary footing. Throughout Armstrong’s tenure, the museum’s endowment has greater than doubled.

His tenure has not been with out tumult. The undertaking to construct the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi has been lengthy delayed and has often confronted allegations of employees’ rights violations, and workers on the Guggenheim Museum in New York have at occasions decried Armstrong’s management.

Previous to heading the Guggenheim, Armstrong served as director of the Carnegie Museum of Artwork in Pittsburgh and the Whitney Museum in New York.

Underneath his course, the Guggenheim sought to broaden the historical past of recent artwork. In 2015, it’s curators mounted “ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, Fifties–60s,” the primary large-scale historic survey in the USA devoted to the German artwork motion Zero. A sequence of acclaimed retrospectives have additionally been mounted for figures like On Kawara, Alberto Burri, Agnes Martin, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Hilma af Klint. The af Klint retrospective drew record-setting crowds to the Guggenheim.

These vital successes have generally stood in opposition to current behind the scenes controversies.

In 2020, management on the Guggenheim’s have been accused of making an inequitable and discriminatory work setting. It instantly adopted allegations by unbiased curator Chaédria LaBouvier that the museum’s chief curator Nancy Spector and others sought to “erase [her] labor” whereas organizing an exhibition centered on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work and its references to police violence. Spector departed the museum after 30 years there after that; an inner investigation performed by the Guggenheim cleared her of wrongdoing.

In 2020, Armstrong reportedly obtained a major pay improve regardless of the museum’s pledge to chop govt salaries and a spherical of layoffs that shrunk its workers by 11 p.c. Staff on the Guggenheim decried the elevate he obtained.

In the meantime, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi has repeatedly been the topic of scrutiny. Activist teams often known as the Gulf Labor Artist Coalition and the International Extremely Luxurious Faction have repeatedly led protests on the Guggenheim in New York in an effort to focus on pay disparities and poor labor circumstances for these engaged on the Abu Dhabi museum. The Guggenheim has denied any employee abuse on the Abu Dhabi undertaking, which is predicted to open in 2025.

In a press release saying Armstrong’s departure, Guggenheim Museum board president Wendy Fisher referred to as Armstrong’s dedication to the New York assortment’s creative integrity “unfailing.”

This yr, Armstrong led efforts to safe a 100-work reward of up to date artwork from the Greek financier Dimitris Daskalopoulos collectively owned with the Museum of Modern Artwork Chicago.

The Guggenheim’s board chair, J. Tomilson Hill, described Armstrong’s presence as “regular and inspiring” and stated that Armstrong “fostered a tradition of scholarship, innovation and inclusion.”



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