Isolde Brielmaier appointed Deputy Director of New Museum

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Isolde Brielmaier appointed Deputy Director of New Museum
Isolde Brielmaier. Photo by Quil Lemons.

NEW YORK, NY.- Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum, announced today the appointment of Isolde Brielmaier to the position of Deputy Director of the New Museum. Brielmaier will begin in her new role on September 1, 2021, succeeding Karen Wong, who has served as the institution’s Deputy Director for nine years, having joined the Museum as Director of External Affairs in 2006.

Brielmaier comes to the New Museum with over two decades of non-profit and private sector experience, specializing in exhibitions, scholarship, strategic planning, partnerships, digital strategy, events, and social impact initiatives. Having received her PhD in art history from Columbia University, she brings to her new post an exceptional range of experience spanning academia, the museum field, and the corporate sector. Brielmaier has also served on the New Museum Board of Trustees since 2016.

Lisa Phillips commented: “Isolde possesses a truly unique combination of talents, affinities, and experience. These qualities coupled her with her sound judgement and understanding of the many complexities facing our field, will serve the New Museum well in its next chapter. She is a great team player with a powerful collaborative spirit and a deep interest and commitment to the New Museum. We are honored and delighted that she is stepping into the role of Deputy Director as our wonderful colleague Karen Wong departs for new pursuits.”

Brielmaier’s museum experience includes her current role of Curator at Large at the International Center of Photography, New York, as well as previous roles as Chief Curator of Exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia; Curator at the Bronx Museum in New York City; and Curator at Large for the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. For six years she served as Executive Director and Curator of Arts, Culture, and Community for Westfield World Trade Center and has been a curatorial and strategic consultant for Prospect 3 in New Orleans and Amazon Web Services’ first AI-based artist commission due to premiere this fall. Brielmaier is currently an Assistant Professor of Critical Studies in the Tisch School's Department of Photography, Imaging, and Emerging Media at New York University. Brielmaier is a sought-after speaker on topics related to art, culture, and social impact, and serves as in an editorial capacity for Graydon Carter’s new media venture Air Mail as well as for several scholarly journals.

At the New Museum, Brielmaier will oversee External Affairs, Marketing and Communications, and NEW INC, as well as media partnerships, publications, and visitor experience, among other areas. Holding a key position in the Museum's executive leadership team, she will participate in policy and strategy decisions as the institution rebuilds its public presence in the aftermath of the global pandemic and the planning of the Museum’s expansion.

Brielmaier succeeds Karen Wong, who has been Deputy Director since 2012 and has been at the Museum for over 15 years, beginning in 2006 as Director of External Affairs. She was part of the small executive team that opened the Museum’s SANAA-designed building at 235 Bowery. With Phillips, Wong co-founded IdeasCity, the acclaimed international festival for urban ideas for the future in 2011, and in 2013, again with Phillips, co-founded NEW INC, the first museum incubator ever created to foster innovation at the intersection of art, design, and technology.

In 2019, Wong led the Museum's groundbreaking partnership with Apple to create the augmented reality project [AR]T. And in 2020, she led a partnership with Onassis USA to found ONX Studio, an extended reality accelerator located in the Onassis Gallery of Olympic Tower.

Wong will leave at the end of August 2021 to co-found and lead GBA/ Guilty by Association, a new for-profit venture focused on empowering underrepresented artists. She will remain a creative consultant for the New Museum.

“Karen has been a brilliant and trusted partner in so much of what we have accomplished in the last fifteen years,” remarked Lisa Phillips. “Enormously talented and committed to our mission, she not only steered the Museum’s branding and communications efforts, but went well beyond these domains into helping the Museum expand in unprecedented ways. We have been so fortunate to benefit from her intellect, instincts, and imagination. And we look forward to seeing her soar in the next chapter of her career.”

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