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Guggenheim Foundation appoints Nancy Spector to new post of Artistic Director and Chief Curator
Nancy Spector. Photo: INEZ AND VINOODH.

NEW YORK, NY.- Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, today announced that Nancy Spector has been appointed to serve as the institution’s first Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, providing conceptual and strategic leadership of collections, exhibitions, and curatorial programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and at all Guggenheim museums internationally. Through the new position of Artistic Director and Chief Curator, the Guggenheim will unify and strengthen artistic activities throughout its international constellation of museums and initiatives, both existing and in development, while accommodating the particular collections, initiatives, and audiences of each.

Nancy Spector previously served at the Guggenheim for more than 29 years, most recently in the role of Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator. She joined the Brooklyn Museum in April 2016 as Deputy Director and Chief Curator. As Artistic Director and Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, she will report directly to Richard Armstrong.

Richard Armstrong said, “Over the past year, we have given fresh thought to the way the Guggenheim creates and manages its artistic program in New York and abroad. This exploration has identified the need for an individual who provides leadership and strategic vision for collections, exhibitions and programs across all aspects of the Foundation and all the museums in our international constellation. During her many years at the Guggenheim, Nancy Spector shaped our institution in singular and significant ways. She is the ideal person to take on this new role working with the Guggenheim to realize and reimagine the radical purpose its founders gave it 80 years ago. We are pleased to welcome her into her new role.”

Nancy Spector said, “I’m grateful to Anne Pasternak, the Trustees and the wonderful staff of the Brooklyn Museum for giving me the opportunity to work with them and learn from them in their great institution. It has been a privilege to participate in the museum’s vital engagement with its community and to address the possibilities of its encyclopedic collection. But when Richard Armstrong approached me with the new position of Artistic Director at the Guggenheim, I simply could not let this extraordinary opportunity—which is truly unique to the Guggenheim—pass me by. I look forward to working with my Guggenheim colleagues in New York and around the world in envisioning the many innovative programs and initiatives we will create together in the coming years.”

Anne Pasternak, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum, added, “We are truly grateful to Nancy for the wisdom and leadership she contributed during her tenure here at the Brooklyn Museum. From her thoughtful strategic planning contributions to reenergizing our curatorial department, exhibiting more of our historic collections, working on curatorial collaborations and prestigious partnerships, and boosting our public programs. Her time here has been a time of real action. We will build on these foundations and look forward to collaborating with Nancy in the future. We wish her all the best in this great new international adventure.”

Nancy Spector received her Masters Degree in Art History from the Clark Art Institute at Williams College and her MPhil from City University Graduate Center in New York after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College. During more than 29 years at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, including 10 years as Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, she organized exhibitions on conceptual photography, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Matthew Barney’s Cremaster cycle, Richard Prince, Louise Bourgeois (with Tate Modern), Marina Abramovic, Tino Sehgal, Maurizio Cattelan and Peter Fischli/David Weiss. She also organized the group exhibitions Moving Pictures; Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated); and theanyspacewhatever. She was Adjunct Curator of the 1997 Venice Biennale and co-organizer of the first Berlin Biennial in 1998. Under the auspices of the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, she initiated special commissions by Andreas Slominski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lawrence Weiner, and Gabriel Orozco, as well as a special exhibition on the work of Joseph Beuys and Matthew Barney.

She has contributed to numerous books on contemporary visual culture with essays on artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Luc Tuymans, Roni Horn, Janine Antoni, Douglas Gordon, Tino Seghal, and Mona Hatoum. In 2007 she was the U.S. Commissioner for the Venice Biennale, where she presented an exhibition of work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Spector is a recipient of the Peter Norton Family Foundation Curators Award, five International Art Critics Association Awards, and a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award for her work on Youtube Play, a Biennial of Creative Video. In 2014, she was included in the 40 Women Over 40 to Watch list. At the Brooklyn Museum, where she worked for as Deputy Director and Curator from 2016-17, she reorganized the curatorial staff structure, launched the 10-exhibition program Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism, and spearheaded the cross-collection, long-term exhibition Infinite Blue.

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