Nancy Spector is an American museum curator who has held positions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Brooklyn Museum.[1][2]

Nancy E. Spector
Born1959 (age 63–64)
EducationSarah Lawrence College (BA)
Williams College (MA)
City University of New York (MPhil)
Employer(s)Brooklyn Museum,
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Education Edit

Spector graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981. She received an M.A. from Williams College in 1984 and a Master of Philosophy degree in Art History from City University Graduate Center in 1997.[3]

Career Edit

Spector was appointed as a Guggenheim curator in 1989.[4]

Spector was adjunct curator of the 1997 Venice Biennale and a co-curator of the first Berlin Biennale in 1998.[5] At the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, she has overseen commissions by Andreas Slominski (1999), Hiroshi Sugimoto (2000), Lawrence Weiner (2000), and Gabriel Orozco (2012), as well as organized the exhibitions Douglas Gordon’s The Vanity of Allegory (2005) and All in the Present Must be Transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys (2006).[6]

Nancy Spector was one of the curators of Monument to Now, an exhibition of the Dakis Joannou Collection, which premiered in Athens in 2004 as an official part of the Olympics program.[6]

In 2007 she was the U.S. Commissioner for the Venice Biennale, where she presented an exhibition of work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres.[5]

In 2013 she was nominated as "Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator".[6]

In 2017, when the White House requested the loan of a Vincent van Gogh painting, from the Guggenheim collection, Landscape With Snow, Spector suggested instead, America - a sculpture of a gold toilet by Maurizio Cattelan.[7]

Guggenheim controversy Edit

In 2019, the Guggenheim hired Chaédria LaBouvier to present her exhibition "Basquiat's Defacement: The Untold Story."[8] At the conclusion of the show, LaBouvier accused Spector and the larger institution of creating "the most racist professional experience of my life" and criticized her on social media.[9][10]

In 2020, the Guggenheim hired an external firm to investigate her claims. It ultimately found "no evidence that Ms. LaBouvier was subject to adverse treatment on the basis of her race." However, while the investigation was under way, museum employees submitted a public letter to the board, calling for them to "replace those members of the executive cabinet who have repeatedly proven that they are not committed to decisive, anti-racist action and do not act in good faith with BIPOC leaders."[11]

In October 2020, after the investigation's conclusion, Spector voluntarily parted ways with the museum.[12][13]

Exhibitions Edit

At the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Spector organized exhibitions and retrospectives. They include:[3][6]

She also organized the group exhibitions

  • Postmedia: Conceptual Photography from the Guggenheim Museum Collection (2000),
  • Moving Pictures: Contemporary Photography and Video from the Guggenheim Museum Collections (2002),
  • Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present (2004), and
  • theanyspacewhatever (2008).[3][6]

Under the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Spector initiated special commissions by Andreas Slominski in 1999, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Lawrence Weiner in 2000 as well as Gabriel Orozco in 2012.[14][6]

At the Deutsche Guggenheim Spector organized the exhibitions for[6]

Recognitions Edit

Selected bibliography Edit

Spector has written catalogue essays for exhibitions on Maurizio Cattelan, Luc Tuymans, Douglas Gordon, Tino Sehgal and Anna Gaskell among others.[3]

  • Spector, Nancy, Against the Grain: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim. in Art of this Century: The Guggenheim Museum and Its Collection. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1993.
  • Spector, Nancy, “Rauschenberg and Performance, 1963-67: A ‘Poetry of Infinite Possibilities,’” in Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1997.
  • Spector, Nancy, “Roni Horn: Picturing Place in Roni Horn: Events of Relation. Paris: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1999.
  • Spector, Nancy, “a.k.a.,” Douglas Gordon. Cambridge, Mass. and Los Angeles: MIT Press and Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001.
  • Barney, Matthew, Nancy Spector, and Neville Wakefield. Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2002.
  • Dennison, Lisa, and Nancy Spector. Singular Forms (sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present. [exhibition] Guggenheim Museum. New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2004.
  • Spector, Nancy. All in the future must be transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2006
  • Spector, Nancy, and Richard Prince. Richard Prince. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2007.
  • Spector, Nancy. Theanyspacewhatever. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2008.
  • Spector, Nancy, “Seven Easy Pieces,” Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2010.
  • Spector, Nancy, Maurizio Cattelan, and Nancy Spector. Maurizio Cattelan: All. New York, NY: Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2011, revised and reprinted in 2016.
  • Spector, Nancy, Gabriel Orozco: Asterisms. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2012.
  • Spector, Nancy, ed. Peter Fischli and David Weiss: How to Work Better. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2015.
  • Spector, Nancy,“Resentment Demands a Story: Passage dangereux” in Louise Bourgeois: Structures of Existence. Munich: Haus der Kunst, 2015
  • Spector, Nancy, “Mona Hatoum” Mona Hatoum. London: Phaidon Press, 2016.

References Edit

  1. ^ Kennedy, Randy (Dec 18, 2015). "Nancy Spector Joins Brooklyn Museum as Chief Curator". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2021 – via
  2. ^ Randy Kennedy (2017-02-15). "Nancy Spector Returns to Guggenheim as Chief Curator and Artistic Director". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  3. ^ a b c d "Nancy Spector Biography". Yale University. Retrieved July 17, 2014.; and "Frieze Foundation Biography". Frieze Foundation. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  4. ^ "Nancy Spector. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum". Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Kennedy, Randy (7 June 2007). "Tough Art With a Candy Center". The New York Times.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Jennifer and David Stockman Endow Position of Chief Curator". The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  7. ^ Schwartzman, Paul (2018-01-25). "The White House asked to borrow a van Gogh. The Guggenheim offered a gold toilet instead". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  8. ^ "Basquiat's "Defacement": The Untold Story". The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  9. ^ "The Guggenheim Tried To Erase Chaédria LaBouvier's Work But She Won't Let Them". Essence. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  10. ^ "The Guggenheim's First Black Curator Is Denouncing the Museum's Treatment of Her". Observer. 2020-06-05. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  11. ^ "Letter to the Board". A Better Guggenheim. 2020-07-04. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  12. ^ Holmes, Helen (8 October 2020). "Guggenheim Curator Nancy Spector to Step Down Though Cleared of Wrongdoing". Observer.
  13. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (8 October 2020). "Guggenheim's Top Curator Is Out as Inquiry Into Basquiat Show Ends". The New York Times.
  14. ^ a b "Nancy Spector". Independent Curators International. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Artdaily. "YouTube Play Recognized at Tribeca Film Festival". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  16. ^ "25 Art World Women at the Top, From Sheikha Al-Mayassa to Yoko Ono". Artnet. 17 April 2014.
  17. ^ "40 Women To Watch Over 40". Forbes. 16 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Pratt Institute | News | Honorary Degree Recipients and Speaker Announced for 2019 Commencement to Be Held May 20". Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  19. ^ "Nancy Spector". International Art Critics Association. Retrieved July 17, 2014.

External links Edit