Richard Armstrong, who has led the Solomon R. Guggenheim Basis since 2008, will step down in 2023 after greater than fourteen years on the job. Armstrong is predicted to help the board of the inspiration—which oversees the flagship Guggenheim Museum in New York in addition to outposts in Bilbao and Venice and a forthcoming department in Abu Dhabi—find a successor. He didn’t cite a motive for his departure, which he first made public in a July 8 interview with the Monetary Instances.
Armstrong, who arrived on the Guggenheim after a dozen years helming Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Artwork, succeeded Thomas Krens within the position of director. His tenure was marked by excessive highs and low lows, the previous characterised by the super success of the establishment in attracting guests and the latter by turmoil over the therapy of employees. Beneath Armstrong’s management, the museum noticed its attendance greater than double, thanks largely to programming that included exhibitions by Hilma af Klint, Alberto Burri, On Kawara, Agnes Martin, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in addition to wide-ranging survey of the work of the German Zero artists. The Guggenheim additionally continued its drive to extend its worldwide presence with the development of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which is slated to open in 2025 following quite a few delays and accusations that laborers on the venture had been poorly paid. Staff on the New York museum fought efficiently to unionize throughout Armstrong’s tenure, which additionally noticed accusations of institutional racism inside the Guggenheim. In a extremely publicized incident, visitor curator Chaédria LaBouvier accused deputy director and chief curator Nancy Spector of trying to “erase” her participation in a landmark exhibition of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat that the previous had delivered to the museum. Spector was cleared of wrongdoing however stepped down after thirty-four years with the establishment; her successor, Naomi Beckwith, is the primary Black lady to guide the museum. The Guggenheim moreover established an initiative aimed toward growing variety, fairness, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI), changing into one of many first main US arts establishments to take action. Earlier this yr, it eliminated the Sackler identify from its schooling heart over members of the family’ connections to the nationwide opioid disaster.
“I’ve had the chance to guide efforts that guarantee stable footing and ship a sturdy international cultural program for the Guggenheim,” famous Armstrong in a press release. “I’m pleased with what we’ve got achieved together with: caring for the employees, embracing ideas round DEAI and sustainability, defining our model for the longer term, and coming via the pandemic with monetary well being.”