The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
announced today that Alyson Baker has been selected as its next director.
Baker will assume the directorship of The Aldrich on July 5, 2011, following an eleven-year term as executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park, an internationally renowned outdoor museum and artist residency program located in New York City. She succeeds Harry Philbrick, who served as director of The Aldrich from 1997 to 2010.
During her time at Socrates, Baker has overseen a remarkable period of institutional and programmatic growth, implementing initiatives that have significantly increased the Park's organizational capacity and operating budget while more than doubling its annual attendance. She garnered widespread recognition and acclaim for curating exhibitions of innovative public sculpture, enhancing the quality and depth of educational and multidisciplinary cultural programs at the Park, and establishing a diverse array of highly effective partnerships.
"As we enter a new era for this wonderful institution, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce the selection by the Board of Trustees of Alyson Baker as the ninth director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum," said Mark L. Goldstein, Board Chairman.
"Baker is the perfect fit for The Aldrich: an exceptionally capable and dynamic leader who is an advocate for artists; she is an experienced manager and respected collaborator with a successful track record of forging creative alliances and building a strong community."
"We are delighted that she will build upon the work begun by her predecessor, Harry Philbrick, who leaves The Aldrich a vibrant institution that plays an important role in the exhibition of cutting-edge art and the development of innovative arts education."
Baker said: "I am thrilled to join such an exceptional organization and look forward to working with the talented staff, the local community, and the many friends and supporters of this preeminent contemporary art museum."
Baker was previously director of Pat Hearn Gallery (1987 to 1992), an associate director of Gagosian Gallery (1992 to 1997), and curatorial assistant in the Contemporary Art Department at the Carnegie Museum of Art (1998 to 2000). She has authored and edited numerous publications on contemporary art and lectured on subjects such as public art, artist workspaces, nonprofit management, and curatorial practice at institutions across the country. With over twenty-four years of experience in the arts, Baker has worked on more than 150 exhibitions with over 500 artists, including both emerging artists and world-renowned figures.
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, she graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, earning a dual degree in Art History and Studio Art while attending classes and summer sessions at the Rhode Island School of Design.