One of Australias most respected art museum leaders, Anne Flanagan, Deputy Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales
, is retiring after 23 years.
Since joining the Gallery in 1992 Anne has been Head of Exhibitions, developing a program of Gallery-curated exhibitions that often toured nationally and internationally.
I have always loved working with the exhibition program because it is a microcosm of the whole Gallery operations, both creative and production, Anne said.
Anne has also been Head of Building, managing the almost continuous refurbishment of gallery spaces to create new areas for collections and exhibitions. Yiribana opened in 1995 showcasing the expanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collections, the new upper-level Asian gallery in 2003, the offsite collection store in 2010 and the Kaldor Family Galleries in 2011 with expansive new spaces for this remarkable collection of contemporary art.
These major projects were at times daunting but exhilarating in the way they not only opened up new spaces to show art but opened up new ways of working and engaging with art always with such creative people, Anne said.
Annes remarkable scope of experience in all areas of Gallery operations and presentation made her the logical choice as Deputy Director and then Acting Director when former Director Edmund Capon retired and prior to current Director Michael Brands appointment.
Michael Brand said Anne will be greatly missed by the entire Gallery staff and by all her other colleagues in her role as deputy director of the Gallery.
Anne is an exceptional and highly accomplished individual whose professional contribution to the Gallery and the Australian arts community over a 23 year period is vast.
One of the highlights of taking up my new position in Sydney was having the opportunity to work with Anne on so many aspects of the Gallerys operations as we planned for an even brighter future, Brand said.
I look forward to working with her as Anne continues to support the Sydney Modern Project in other capacities, Brand added.
Edmund Capon said he has huge admiration for Anne with whom he worked for just on 20 years.
Two decades with Anne Flan was a joy to behold, Capon said.
Whatever anyone independently or collectively achieved at the Gallery, very little of it happened without Anne.
Anne worked tirelessly and was totally supportive to everyone at all times, Edmund added.
Since 2005 Anne has worked closely with the Director and Trustees to evolve a long-term Gallery masterplan. This has now reached a significant phase of planning with the completion of an international architectural competition for the Sydney Modern Project.
I feel this milestone the selection of the architect to bring the masterplan to reality is an opportune time for me to move on from my role at the Gallery, Anne said.
Of course Im sad to leave something that has been an important part of my life for so many years but I am also very proud of the things accomplished. I am very excited about life ahead too.
It has been an honour to work with four remarkable Presidents, such committed Trustees, two exceptional Directors and such inspirational and talented staff, Anne added.
Anne will retire from the Gallery at the end of the month. Suhanya Raffel, Director of Collections, will take up the deputy directorship.