The Guggenheim Museum appoints the president of NYU Abu Dhabi as its new director

The Guggenheim Museum appoints the president of NYU Abu Dhabi as its new director

After a six-month search, the Solomon R. She will be the first woman to hold this position in the organization. She will lead the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice while working alongside leaders of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the upcoming Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Westermann, a Dutch art historian and former executive vice president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will replace Westerman Richard Armstrong, who announced his departure from the organization Last year after 14 difficult years at the helm. The cultural institution is still rebuilding its reputation in the wake of the October 2020 resignation of its artistic director and chief curator, Nancy Spector, who left the Guggenheim after 34 years amid workers’ accusations of systemic racism and was replaced by Naomi Beckwith.

Westerman will join the Guggenheim Museum before the completion of the controversial Abu Dhabi museum. Since plans for the Frank Gehry-designed building were first announced in 2006, the project has been embroiled in allegations of worker abuse, with migrant workers in the area and their advocates demanding unfair compensation and poor living conditions. (No opening date has been set, and the Guggenheim Museum has not been able to confirm when construction is expected to be completed.)

The appointment of new leadership comes shortly after the New York museum’s newly unionized employees ratified their first contract following two years of negotiations during which the institution’s labor practices were heavily scrutinized. Amid financial shortfalls attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum reduced its staff by 11% and supposedly cut the salaries of up to a quarter of its senior leadership, including Armstrong; However, A Hypersensitivity The report showed that the former director still received $1.5 million at the end of 2021 even after his salary was cut by 25% due to the organization’s deferred compensation plan. Given financial pressures and rising operating costs, the museum raised admission prices to $30 this summer, joining other institutions across the country including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute. chicago.

The Guggenheim Museum and Westerman have not yet responded HypersensitivityInquiries about The Foundation’s plan to support unionized employees and the allegations surrounding the Abu Dhabi Museum.

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