Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, mentioned he planned to retire from his part up coming yr, capping off much more than 14 yrs top the institution and its global offshoots.
Armstrong, 73, whose tenure provided weathering the pandemic and responding to phone calls for improve around racial inequities, both of those internally and on the museum’s partitions, introduced the shift in an job interview with The Money Periods that was posted on Friday.
“Sometime up coming spring,” he claimed in the job interview, “I’ll be leaving the museum. It’ll be nearly 15 a long time by then and which is a prolonged time. The board is rejuvenated, and active — it’s a superior moment.”
In a information launch, the museum said that prior to Armstrong methods down in 2023, he will perform with its board of trustees to obtain his successor.
Below his leadership, Armstrong was tasked in current yrs with responding to unionization endeavours and an outcry around what associates of the museum’s curatorial office termed an “inequitable operate atmosphere that permits racism, white supremacy, and other discriminatory techniques.” Armstrong responded to the needs for modify by initiating conversations with the curators, declaring that he saw it as an opportunity to develop into a more numerous and equitable firm.
The museum later on approved a plan to deal with people problems, creating it just one of the initially major cultural corporations to provide information of an expanded variety energy amid industrywide phone calls for improve. The system involved claims to bolster policies around reporting discrimination, and a new committee was billed with inspecting the institution’s exhibitions and acquisitions by way of the lens of equity and diversity.
Soon after 1 of the museum’s top rated directors, Nancy Spector, stepped down amid rates of racism, the museum named Naomi Beckwith to succeed her, generating her the institution’s to start with Black deputy director and main curator. (Immediately after a Black curator, Chaédria LaBouvier, accused Spector of racism, an impartial investigation concluded there was no proof that the curator had been “subject to adverse cure on the basis of her race.”) A further leadership shake-up adopted later that year, when the billionaire collector J. Tomilson Hill was appointed as board chairman, and the writer Claudia Rankine was elected its second ever Black woman trustee. In a assertion alongside with the announcement, Hill mentioned Armstrong experienced guided the museum skillfully via the pandemic, calling him a “steady and encouraging presence.”
The announcement closely follows the information of a big shift in management at the Metropolitan Museum, the place Daniel H. Weiss stated he will phase down as president and main executive in June 2023.
Armstrong grew to become director of the museum in 2008, succeeding Thomas Krens, an expansionist leader who transformed the Guggenheim into a global brand with Guggenheim Bilbao. Armstrong arrived from the Carnegie Museum of Artwork in Pittsburgh, which he led for a dozen years. Interviewed soon after he was named director, Armstrong stated he aimed to present shows highlighting the get the job done of youthful artists, which he usually did.
Armstrong also oversaw a especially tumultuous period numerous years in the past as the Guggenheim sought to grow overseas with a new museum in Abu Dhabi. The project was achieved with protests and demands for assurances that the laborers would be compensated and handled fairly, main to guarantees from Armstrong that the museum was deeply dedicated to labor difficulties. The extended-delayed challenge is scheduled to be completed in 2025, following Armstrong’s departure.
A further big adjust less than Armstrong arrived before this 12 months, when the Guggenheim quietly erased the Sackler title from an instruction middle more than the family’s ties to the opioid disaster.
“As a management team, we have listened, figured out and adapted to meet up with the shifting dynamics of our system, brand name, audiences, and funders,” Armstrong explained in a statement. “I appear ahead to looking at the Guggenheim group proceed to flourish and be a catalyst for inventive wondering and transformative art ordeals extensive right after my departure.”