Friday, February 15, 2008

Talbott named Wadsworth Atheneum director

The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, has named the Smithsonian’s Susan Lubowsky Talbott to be its new director. She is expected to begin the job full-time on May 1, according to the museum, replacing Willard Holmes, who lead the institution from March 2003 to April 2007. (Here’s my post about Holmes's February 2007 announcement that he would be leaving.)

As the Hartford Courant reports, Talbott is taking the reins of a museum that “has been dogged by unrealized initiatives and financial concerns in the past 10 years.”

Talbott has been director of Smithsonian Arts at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., since 2005, helping oversee the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of African Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Freer Gallery of Art, Archives of American Art, and Smithsonian Photography Initiative, all in Washington, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

She was director and CEO of the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa from 1998 to 2005; executive director of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 1992 to 1998; director of the visual arts program of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1989 to 1992; and director of two branch museums of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1982 to 1989.

The press release the Des Moines Art Center issued when Talbott left there in 2005.

Photo by Ken Rahaim, courtesy Smithsonian Institution.


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