Brooklyn Museum names Anne Pasternak as new director

Frame job: Brooklyn Museum names new director

The Brooklyn Paper
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It is her biggest installation yet.

An arts administrator known for organizing large-scale public art works will take over as the new director of the Brooklyn Museum later this year, the Prospect Heights institution announced on Tuesday. Anne Pasternak, who is currently the president and artistic director of public arts organization Creative Time, will assume the mantle in September, and says she plans to lead the borough’s premier art museum to even greater heights.

“With a distinguished history, an experienced leadership team, a forward-thinking staff, and a bold mission, the Museum is extremely well positioned to go even further as a place for great art, learning, and civic vibrancy — in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Pasternak.

In her 21 years at the helm of Creative Time, Pasternak oversaw some of the most famous public art projects in New York’s recent history, including “Tribute in Light,” the two massive searchlights that shone in place of the original World Trade Center to commemorate Sept. 11, and “A Subtlety,” a 35-foot sugar coated sphinx-woman statue that artist Kara Walker exhibited inside the old Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg last summer.

The 50-year-old Connecticut native will be the first woman to run one of New York’s big encyclopedic museums, but she will be in good company — the Museum, which is also home to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, already has a female chair, female vice-chair, and female president.

Pasternak will take over from Arnold Lehman, who is stepping down as the Musuem’s director after 18 years at the post. The departing chief, who ruffled art-world feathers but won over many Brooklynites during his reign by booking exhibitions designed to appeal to the masses and championing Kings County artists, said Pasternak is a worthy successor.

“Anne is one of the most dynamic and creative forces in the art world today,” said Lehman, who announced his retirement in September last year. “I expect that once her extraordinary experience and energies are connected to the exciting, inclusive brand and treasures of the Brooklyn Museum, the blend will be ‘dynamite!’ ”

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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