By Bill Parry
Officials at the Queens Museum are reaching across the pond to fill the institution’s leadership void.
Sally Tallant, a respected British arts professional with extensive international experience, has been named its new president and executive director, succeeding Laura Raicovich, who resigned last January following a dispute with the museum’s board.
“The Queens Museum has a well-deserved reputation for leveraging the power of art as a tool for both community building and global understanding,” Tallant said. “Amid the difficulties and stress points we see in the world today, institutions like the Queens Museum are key in terms of creating cultural spaces for people to engage with the urgent issues of our time. This museum is a global treasure, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the tam to take it to its next exciting phase.”
Between 2001 and 2011, Tallant served as the Head of Programs at London’s acclaimed Serpentine Galleries, where she was responsible for developing and delivering an integrated program of exhibitions, architecture, education and public programs.
“The Queens Museum aimed to find a new leader who was an experienced museum professional with international credentials, and who had also enjoyed success leading an arts organization,” Queens Museum Board Chair Mark J. Coleman said. “After an extensive search, we are delighted to have selected Sally Tallant. Her unique combination of local and global experience in the arts world made her a superlative choice for leading the Queens Museum and for serving the borough’s distinctively international constituency.”
In 2011, Tallant was appointed artistic director and CEO of Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest international festival of contemporary art, where she has created a pioneering model of a Biennial underpinned by research and education, with a year-round program of permanent and temporary public art commissions.
She has overseen four editions of the Liverpool Biennial and has commissioned more than 180 international artists’ projects and large-scale performances, working closely with the city’s major arts organizations, including Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool and Culture Liverpool, as well as museums and cultural institutions internationally.
“The search committee was particularly impressed by Sally Tallant’s curatorial experience, her management achievements, her dynamism, and her strong record of strategic and operational leadership,” Coleman said. “We also responded to her passion for people development, and we placed high value on her proven capabilities in educational programming and community engagement.”
Tallant will take over the Queens Museum in the spring, replacing Raicovich, who resigned last January following disagreements with the board over an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr