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The Whitney Museum of American Art appointed a new chief curator: Kim Conaty, the current curator of prints and drawings at the museum. She will begin her new role on 8 April, overseeing the permanent collection and acquisitions; the curatorial, publications and conservation departments; and scholarly and artistic programming.

“Kim brings to the role of chief curator an extraordinary range of talents,” the Whitney’s director Scott Rothkopf—her predecessor as chief curator—said in a statement. “Her brilliance as an exhibition maker is matched by her deep scholarly expertise across the range of the Whitney’s programme and collection from 1900 to the present.”

Conaty started working as a curator at the Whitney in 2017. She curated the museum’s landmark Edward Hopper exhibition in 2022, as well as the first survey of Ruth Asawa’s drawings last year. Her latest exhibition, Survival Piece #5: Portable Orchard, a re-creation of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison’s 1972 indoor citrus grove, opens on 29 June.

She also co-directed the Whitney collection’s strategic plan, with an eye towards expanding into underrepresented areas. Conaty told The New York Times that she now intends to focus on adding works by Latinx and Indigenous artists.

Exhibitions

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“It’s a great honour to take on this leadership role at the Whitney, an institution that has long held a special place for me,” Conaty said in a statement. “I’m excited to guide and empower our stellar curatorial team as we continue to shape the Whitney’s collection in meaningful ways and develop dynamic and rigorous exhibitions that tell stories, ask questions and engage deeply with artists and audiences.”

Conaty joined the Whitney two years after its relocation to its larger and more prominent Renzo Piano-designed building in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Last year, the museum welcomed 768,000 visitors, making it the 89th-most-visited art museum in the world, according to The Art Newspaper‘s most recent survey of visitor numbers.

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