Kim Conaty Takes the Whitney’s Top Curatorial Job, and Other News

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Kim Conaty. Photography by Bryan Derballa

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Kim Conaty Takes the Whitney’s Top Curatorial Job

The Whitney Museum of American Art has named Kim Conaty the Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. In her new role, she will help shape the museum’s mission and vision, overseeing curatorial, publications, and conservation departments while developing the permanent collection and exhibitions. Conaty has worked at the Whitney since 2017 and has curated shows by Edward Hopper, Mary Corse, and Ruth Asawa, as well as co-directing the Whitney’s Collection Strategic Plan to set priorities for the museum’s future. She succeeds Scott Rothkopf in the role, who was promoted in November to serve as the museum’s director.

In other people news, Sonya Haffey has been promoted to CEO of V Starr, the South Florida interiors firm founded by Venus Williams. She has served as the firm’s principal for 15 years. Alex Williams will be transitioning away from his position as part-owner of RBW, the lighting firm he founded in 2007 with Theo Richardson and Charles Brill. Under their leadership, the brand plans to launch a record 17 new products this year, largely thanks to the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility it recently opened in New York’s Hudson Valley.

“Greenwood Pond-Double Site” in Des Moines, Iowa. Image courtesy of Mary Miss, via The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Mary Miss sues the Des Moines Art Center to save her Land Art piece from destruction.

Mary Miss has filed a lawsuit against the Des Moines Art Center to stop the destruction of her land art piece Greenwood Pond: Double Site (1989–1996), citing violations of the museum’s contract with her and the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which empowers artists to protect their work if it’s of “recognized stature.” The lawsuit follows public outcry and efforts from art-world figures like Agnes Gund, Laurie Anderson, and Martin Puryear to save the installation, but highlights the challenges of preserving public artworks, particularly for smaller institutions.

Carlo Ratti Associati converts a former refinery plant into a hydroelectric park in Trieste.

Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled the scheme for a waterfront green energy park in Trieste, Italy, that converts disused oil storage tanks into renewable “water batteries” that generate hydroelectric power from the Adriatic Sea. The sprawling master plan aims to reconnect derelict industrial zones to the city, incorporate renewable energy technology, and foster renewal through green spaces, urban farms, and an Innovation Park.

Rendering of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Image courtesy of Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects’ transformation of the Crystal Bridges Museum will wrap up this year.

Safdie Architects is nearing completion of the two-year expansion of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, with construction progress showcased in a recent Instagram post. The expansion, which adds two new galleries totaling 100,000 square feet, marks a significant increase in exhibition space and overall campus size, continuing Safdie’s involvement with the site for over 25 years. Construction is slated to wrap up next year.

The Portland Art Museum reveals new details about its $111 million campus expansion.

The Portland Art Museum is planning a $111 million renovation and expansion, adding 95,000 square feet of new or upgraded space by late 2025. Designed by Hennebery Eddy Architects and Vinci Hamp Architects, the project aims to create a “cultural commons” featuring a new glass pavilion named after Mark Rothko, who lived in Portland as a child, took classes at the museum, and showed his inaugural exhibition there. Other additions include an open-air passageway, a new café, and 2,700 square feet of exhibition space. 

Norman Foster receives the second annual Hiss Award from Architecture Sarasota.

Marty Hylton III, the president of Architecture Sarasota, has dedicated two years to transforming the organization into a powerhouse for preserving the city’s architectural heritage. Recent achievements include unveiling an exhibition on the city’s Modernist history and presenting the Philip Hanson Hiss Award to Norman Foster, recognizing his contribution to Sarasota’s legacy.

Icon of the Seas. Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Today’s attractive distractions:

These government-made comic books are trying to fight election disinformation.

A writer chronicles seven agonizing nights aboard the mammoth Icon of the Seas.

Solar panels are becoming so cheap that some are using them as garden fencing.

A flat decorated with minotaurs and lion heads earns itself listed status in England.

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