Parrish Art Museum Announces New Director

The Parrish Art Museum, which showcases work by Long Island artists, announced Wednesday that Kelly Taxter will be its next director. She succeeds Terrie Sultan, who helmed the museum for 12 years before stepping down in June.

Taxter, who owned a gallery for many years and is currently the Barnett and Annalee Newman Curator of Contemporary Art at the Jewish Museum, said the role will allow her to merge her curatorial background with her entrepreneurial spirit.

“We’re at a crucial moment for change in the art world,” she said. “And I’m excited to be a part of it. I hope to make the museum relevant year-round, on both a local and global level.”

The Parrish was founded in 1898 in Southampton Village on Long Island’s East End. In 2012, a 34,400-square-foot facility, designed by the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron and featuring sky-lit galleries and porches, opened a few miles away in Water Mill, N.Y.

Sultan oversaw the construction and also organized more than a dozen exhibitions and projects with Chuck Close, Tara Donovan and Maya Lin during her tenure.

Since joining the Jewish Museum in 2013, Taxter has organized major surveys of works by Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Rachel Feinstein and was a co-curator of an exhibition on Isaac Mizrahi. She also led commissions, projects and exhibitions with Eliza Douglas, Eva LeWitt and Vivian Suter, and will serve as guest curator next year for the first U.S. survey of the filmmaker Jonas Mekas, who died in 2019.

The Parrish’s galleries have been closed since Jan. 5 amid rising coronavirus cases, though the museum hopes to reopen them in early spring. An outdoor sculpture exhibition in the museum’s 14-acre meadow, “Field of Dreams,” remains open and free to visitors.

The museum is known for its annual summer fund-raising gala, which is a highlight of the Hamptons social season and typically attracts more than 500 attendees.

Mary E. Frank, the president and co-chair of the museum’s board, said that closing their doors from March through early August last year meant they missed out on revenue from the prime summer season. The museum cut its budget last year to $4 million from $5.5 million and implemented temporary layoffs and furloughs, she said.

The museum includes more than 3,000 pieces from the 19th century to the present in its permanent collection, including work by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Krasner and Willem de Kooning.

Taxter will officially start her new role on March 22.

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