Chief Photography Curator Retiring From MoMA

Posted by David Ozanich — 3 May 2011

untitled13.jpgCindy Sherman: Untitled Film Still #13, 1978


Word came down from on high yesterday that Chief Photography Curator at the Museum of Modern Art is stepping down after nearly three decades at the institution. He the Department of Photography in 1981 and was appointed to the top post in 1991.

"Over the course of his long career at The Museum of Modern Art, Peter Galassi has applied passion, commitment, and exemplary scholarship to further our understanding of photography as an art form that is central to modern and contemporary art," said Glenn D. Lowry. "In addition to curating many important exhibitions and authoring publications, he has led the growth and transformation of MoMA's photography collection. The Museum is most grateful for those contributions, and we wish him all the best in the next phase of his career."

During his tenure he acquired for MoMA 1,000 photographs by Lee Friedlander and the complete Cindy Sherman "Untitled Film Stills." In addition to these headliners, Art Daily details other major purchases and acquisitions:

300 news photographs given by The New York Times, more than 300 outstanding modernist photographs of the 1920s and 1930s from the Thomas Walther Collection, and key examples of mid-nineteenth-century French photography bequeathed by Suzanne Winsberg. In 1991, working closely with the Trustee Committee on Photography and his curatorial colleagues, Mr. Galassi initiated an acquisitions program focused on postwar photography, which has brought to the Museum important groups of works by Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Robert Frank, David Goldblatt, Nan Goldin, Jan Groover, Andreas Gursky, Boris Mikhailov, Nicholas Nixon, Michael Schmidt, Judith Joy Ross, Joel Sternfeld, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, William Wegman, and Garry Winogrand.

His last major show was "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century" in 2010. No immediate replacement has been announced. Time to email the search committee your resumes, I suppose. Read the full press release at Art Daily.

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