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Elizabeth A. Sackler elected first woman Board Chair of Brooklyn Museum
Elizabeth A. Sackler. Photo: Joan Roth.

BROOKLYN, NY.- The Members of the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum have elected Elizabeth A. Sackler, Board member since 2000, as the Museum's Chair. Dr. Sackler, the first woman in the nearly 200-year history of the Museum to serve in that position, is the founder of the Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. She succeeds retiring chair John S. Tamagni, who has served as Chair since 2011 and will continue to serve as an active Board member.

Dr. Sackler stated, "It is a privilege, and I thank the Museum's leadership, for electing me as Chair of this venerable institution. I look forward to adding to the accomplishments of all my predecessors. The Brooklyn Museum has had an exceptional period of programmatic and capital growth, and our mission is essential to our City as a dynamic resource for all New Yorkers and its visitors. Over the last decade, we have created generous and lively experiences for visitors of all ages and backgrounds and provided communities with the pleasures of our important permanent collections, educational activities, and public programming. As this is a museum for all people, I am proud to be the first woman to Chair the Board of Trustees."

Outgoing Chair John S. Tamagni commented, "Since Elizabeth Sackler first joined the Board, she has been one of our most dedicated and dynamic members and has demonstrated a remarkable understanding of the Museum's strengths and challenges and an in-depth knowledge about the functioning of museums. Her leadership, vision, and generosity in founding the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and the gift of one of its key components, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, were instrumental in establishing the Museum as the center for feminist art in the nation. Elizabeth is exceptionally well qualified to take the helm of the Brooklyn Museum and to lead it into the future."

Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman said, "I am delighted that our dear friend, long-time Board member, and enthusiastic supporter Elizabeth Sackler will take on the role of Board Chair. Her expertise, passion, and dedication make her superbly qualified to assume leadership of the Brooklyn Museum. We are all immensely grateful to Jack Tamagni and thank him for his superb leadership and support. He has been an insightful mentor to me and a great friend."

Elizabeth A. Sackler, Ph.D. a public historian, arts activist, and American Indian advocate, is President of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, NYC; founder and President of the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation; President of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation; member of the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum, and the founder of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Dr. Sackler currently sits on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, formerly sat on the Board of the New Mexico Statuary Hall Foundation for the National Statuary Hall Collection, and was the founding president of the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, all in Washington, D.C.

She has received numerous awards, most recently from the Association of American Indian Affairs in 2013. Past awards and honors include: "Making Trouble, Making History Award" (Jewish Women's Archive, 2012), "Passionate Advocate of the Arts" (Neuberger Art Museum, 2010), "Art to Life Award" (A.I.R. Gallery, 2008), " Visionary Woman Award " (Moore College of Art & Design, 2007), "Women of Power and Influence Award" (National Organization for Women, 2007), "Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts" (ArtTable, 2006), "Native American of the Year" (Drums Along the Hudson, 2005), "President's Award" (Women's Caucus for Art, 2004), "21 Leaders of the 21st Century Award" (Women's eNews, 2003), "Women in the Arts Award" (Brooklyn Museum, 2002), "Yurok Tribal Council Honor" (1999), "Sussman Award for Academic Excellence" (The Union Institute & University, 1998), and "Honorary Award for Life Spirit" (Native American Film and Video Celebration, Lincoln Center, 1994).

Dr. Sackler is an honorary member of the Guerrilla Girls and was the 2012 recipient of the Brooklyn Museum's prestigious Augustus Graham Medal.

Dr. Sackler is a lecturer and keynote speaker. In 2013: "Changing the Course: Women, Art and the Art Market" at ArtMiami's Collecting Women Artists Symposium; "Making Gender Matter" at UJA-Federation's Summit - I3: Insight, Innovation, Impact with Paula Zahn (TimesCenter, NYC); "New Forms: The World in a Different Order" at The First Supper Symposium (Oslo, Norway). Earlier lectures include: "Moving Right Along: The Radicalization of Normal People" (New York Academy of Art, NYC); "Cultural Borders" (Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, Baltimore), "A Place at the Table" (Union Institute & University Commencement Address, Los Angeles), "A Museum's Work: Art, Acquisitions, Accords" (Cline Lecture Series, Northern Arizona University), "Re-envisioning Feminism Today: The Evolution of the Emancipation of Women" (Green Critics' Lecture Series, Frost Art Museum, Miami), "Follow Your Passion" (Executive Lecture Series, NYU Stern School of Business, NYC), "Women Collecting Women-Matronage" (Sotheby's, NYC), "Who Is the Criminal, Where Is the Justice?" (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NYC), "Raising the Bar: Searching for an Ethical Morality" (National Museum of the American Indian, NYC), "Repatriation and Restitution" (Vera List Center, The New School, NYC), "Trafficking and Private Collections" (University of Chicago), and "The Ethic of Collecting" (Harvard University).

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is a nexus for feminist art, theory, and activism. It is the permanent home of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, its Feminist Art and Herstory galleries display critically acclaimed exhibitions, and its Forum is a venue for lectures and dialogues and a platform of advocacy for women's issues. The Sackler Center has hosted hundreds of hours of public programs (www.brooklynmuseum. org/eascfa/video), most recently, a three-part series: "States of Denial: The Illegal Incarceration of Women, Children and People of Color."

The annual Sackler Center First Awards honor women who are first in their fields. Recipients: Marin Alsop, Connie Chung, Johnnetta B. Cole, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, Sandy Lerner, Lucy R. Lippard, Chief Wilma Mankiller (posthumous), Toni Morrison, Linda Nochlin, Jessye Norman, Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.), Judith Rodin, the late Muriel Siebert, Susan Stroman, Julie Taymor, and Faye Wattleton. The 2014 Sacker Center First Awards ceremony in June honored Anita F. Hill.

Elizabeth Sackler holds a Ph.D. in Public History, and the Elizabeth A. Sackler Papers are held by the Sophia Smith Collection, an internationally recognized women's history archive at Smith College.

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