NEW YORK, November 19, 2015 – Adam D. Weinberg, the notable curator and Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, was awarded the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York, home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
“[Adam’s] direction advances our understanding that American or French works of art don’t operate in a vacuum,” said the Cultural Counselor. “Instead, they’re part of a much larger context, one where ideas and aesthetics filter across national borders.”
Weinberg became Alice Pratt Brown Director of The Whitney Museum of American Art in 2003. During his tenure, the Whitney has presented major exhibitions on a range of artists, including William Eggleston, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Gordon Matta-Clark, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ed Ruscha, and Jeff Koons; offered award-winning educational programs; and experienced dramatic growth in the permanent collection; and, in 2015, opened its new 220,000-square-foot building in the Meatpacking District. Mr. Weinberg has co-organized the current career retrospective of Frank Stella, the artist’s first retrospective in the United States since 1987, now on view at the Whitney through February 7, 2016, which will also travel to Fort Worth and San Francisco.
First inspired to become involved in the art world by an exhibition of works by French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet, Weinberg began a fruitful friendship with France in 1989 when working on the development of the American Center in Paris,and subsequently served as Artistic and Program Director from 1991 to 1992. The relationship continued in spirit through Weinberg’s continued support of French and European artists and his close collaboration with French institutions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Grand Palais and Le Consortium in Dijon. A faithful friend to France, Weinberg maintains many deep, decade-long partnerships with members of the artistic community there.
Weinberg’s global perspective is reflected in his exhibitions for the Whitney. In 1995, Weinberg organized the groundbreaking series “Views from Abroad: European Perspectives on American Art,” with the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, and the Tate Gallery in London. Under Weinberg’s direction, the Whitney also features foreign artists seen to be very impactful in the United States, such as Yayoi Kusama, Rudolf Stingel, and more. Weinberg has also curated major public projects with such international artists as Christian Boltanski, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Mark Dion, Jessica Stockholder, and Andrea Zittel.
From 1999 to 2003, Weinberg was the Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy. Prior to that, he was Senior Curator and Curator of the Permanent Collection at the Whitney. In 1991, Weinberg became the Artistic and Program Director of the American Center in Paris. He first joined the Whitney in 1989 as Director of the Whitney at Equitable Center. Beginning in 1981, Weinberg served as Director of Education and Assistant Curator at the Walker Art Center.
Weinberg is also the author of numerous catalogues and essays on contemporary and modern art. He serves as a board member of diverse organizations, including the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Storm King Art Center; and the Colby College Museum of Art. He holds a BA from Brandeis University and a master’s degree from the Visual Studies Workshop, the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communication. American recipients of the award include Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.
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