Dear Members and Friends,
As I write this, my first message as Acting Executive Director, I am filled with a combination of pride, anticipation, and gratitude to pick up the reins from our much-loved Anne-Imelda Radice. Anne’s record of achievement is well established. I know that my own long tenure with this museum, which I love so well, ensures that we will continue to explore, expand, and excel, and I am energized and excited by the new responsibilities.
But life never stands still, does it? Even as we transitioned in the museum’s leadership, the exhibitions and programs have continued to unfold with great success. January was a whirlwind of activities. The powerful synchronicity of Americana week in New York City and the Outsider Art Fair provided, as always, explosive art, great conversation, and a panoply of people from everywhere flowing through our galleries. On January 21, the museum opened the exhibition Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic, curated by Dr. Valérie Rousseau. The exhibition is a fascinating look at idiosyncratic structures in lifelong visual writing practice by self-taught artists. Valérie has brought her deep and complex perspective to this rich material, conceived as a companion to When the Curtain Never Comes Down. The Anne Hill Blanchard Uncommon Artists lecture was also presented on January 21. The theme of this annual series, honoring the legacy of the late Anne Hill Blanchard, was new research on the diverse, mysterious, and colorful self-taught art of the Caribbean. The packed month concluded with Drawing with Susan, a workshop with New Zealand artist Susan Te Kahurangi King, whose work is included in Vestiges & Verse. King has also been the subject of research through a museum fellowship administrated by Dr. Rousseau and implemented by scholar Rae Pleasant.
Beginning March 5, the exhibition Holding Space: The Museum Collects is on view in the museum’s Self-Taught Genius Gallery in Long Island City. This is the second permanent collection exhibition in this new gallery space and the first to be organized by new assistant curator Sarah Margolis-Pineo. The selection of almost fifty recent acquisitions explores the notion of holding space literally, metaphorically, and creatively, while highlighting important works of art that have entered the collection over the past five years.
So much more to come in the days ahead…
Stacy C. Hollander
Acting Executive Director