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March 10, 2000
Wellesley Museum Director to Lead The Art Museum, Princeton University
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Susan Taylor has been named director of The Art Museum, Princeton University. Taylor, who is currently director of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, will take up the position in August, succeeding Professor Peter Bunnell, who has served as acting director since the retirement of Director Emeritus Allen Rosenbaum.
At Wellesley, Taylor has overseen all areas of acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs for the museum. A highlight of her 12-year tenure as director was the construction of a new museum building, designed by Rafael Moneo. Taylor served as project director for this building, developing the program plan for the 61,000 square foot facility, which includes a cinema and cafe as well as permanent and temporary exhibition galleries and study areas for prints, drawings and photographs. She has also been responsible for the building the collection in many areas, including the acquisition of numerous works of contemporary art, an area in which she is particularly interested.
Prior to her work at Wellesley, Taylor served at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she coordinated several major national and international exhibitions. She received her BA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Vassar College and her graduate degree from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is an active member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, currently serving on the board as chair of the Professional Issues Committee. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the board of the American Federation of the Arts and chairs the Museum Services Committee. Since 1992, she has been a member of the visiting committee of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College and currently serves on the Exhibitions Advisory Committee of the Museum for African Art. At Wellesley, she teaches a course on museum issues, and she has lectured and consulted on new museum architecture and design, issues in public art, and architect and artist collaborations in the private and public sectors.
In announcing her appointment, President Harold Shapiro said, "Susan Taylor brings to the directorship of The Art Museum not only an impressive record of achievement and breadth of experience but also an infectious energy and sense of possibility. Under her leadership, I believe we will see exciting new things happening at the museum, particularly in programming and in the development of new relationships with students, faculty, and alumni, as well as with the museum's other constituencies beyond the campus."
Provost Jeremiah Ostriker, who has direct responsibility for oversight of the museum, said, "I am particularly impressed by the clarity of Susan Taylor's vision for the museum. It will be important to provide her with the resources she needs to realize that vision. We have already begun to do that, and I look forward to a continuing and fruitful collaboration with her."
Associate Provost S. Georgia Nugent, who chaired the search committee for the directorship, noted the extraordinary enthusiasm Taylor evoked from search committee members, museum staff, and faculty alike: "Faculty spoke of her as 'dazzling' and 'full of fresh ideas,' and staff members noted they would be eager to work with her. We feel very fortunate that Susan Taylor will be coming to Princeton."
In accepting the appointment, Taylor said, "I'm delighted to be joining the Princeton community, and I look forward to working with a talented staff, gifted faculty, and an administration committed to realizing the potential of a great museum." The Art Museum, which houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 50,000 objects and welcomes almost 100,000 visitors annually, not only supports the teaching and research needs of the University, but also serves as an important regional cultural resource.