Whitney Museum Promotes Kim Conaty to Chief Curator

The Whitney Museum in New York has promoted Kim Conaty to the role of Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, beginning April 8. She succeeds Scott Rothkopf in the role, who was promoted to serve as the director of the Whitney, a post he has held since November.

Conaty, who joins the museum’s senior leadership team, has worked at the Whitney since 2017, serving as a curator of drawing and prints. During her tenure there, she has organized several popular exhibitions, including the 2022 blockbuster “Edward Hopper’s New York,” a Mary Corse survey in 2018, and last year’s Ruth Asawa show, which looked at the artist’s drawing practice.

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Conaty is currently at work on a presentation that will see a major piece of Land art, Survival Piece #5: Portable Orchard (1972) by Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, consisting of 18 citrus tress, installed in the museum’s eighth-floor gallery.

She has also co-directed the Whitney’s Collection Strategic Plan, which evaluated the institution’s permanent holdings and set priorities for future acquisitions, and has been in charge of the 15,000 drawings and prints that the museum owns. She currently serves on the board of Print Council of America.

In a statement, Rothkopf said, “Kim brings to the role of Chief Curator an extraordinary range of talents. Her brilliance as an exhibition maker is matched by her deep scholarly expertise across the range of the Whitney’s program and collection from 1900 to the present.”

Prior to the Whitney, Conaty was a curator at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where she organized shows for Sharon Lockhart and David Shrigley, as well as a survey of Fred Eversley’s 1970s sculptures that opened at Art + Practice in Los Angeles before traveling to the Rose.

Earlier in her career, she held curatorial posts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Grey Art Gallery at NYU; the Guggenheim Museum in New York; and the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also worked as a curatorial intern and researcher at the Whitney.

In a statement, Conaty said, “It’s a great honor to take on this leadership role at the Whitney, an institution that has long held a special place for me. 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.”

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