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Leadership Now: Empowerment in the Museum

Expanding upon the Association of Art Museum Curators annual Art Curators Conference, held in Manhattan and virtually May 6–9, this talk brings together four museum directors who have recently moved into their current roles in leadership to discuss their interpretation of empowerment through work, collections, exhibitions, teams, and community, and how they approach this topic through their work as leadership in a public institution.

Saturday, May 13

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Representing four US-based institutions, four panelists discuss what it means to be a contemporary leader in a museum. What are their motivations to step into a leadership role at this moment in time and how is the idea of empowerment placed at the forefront of their work within their museums?

This program is organized by the AAMC, and was created by Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, AAMC & AAMC Foundation.

TEFAF Talks are interactive panel discussions exploring today’s most fascinating topics in the worlds of art, antiques, and design. Paired with leading content partners, these talks showcase the knowledge of leading experts in the broader TEFAF community. This talk is presented in partnership with AAMC and moderated by Siddhartha V. Shah, Director, Mead Art Museum.


Moderator: Siddhartha V. Shah, John Wieland 1958 Director, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College

Siddhartha V. Shah is John Wieland 1958 Director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, and was previously Director of Education and Civic Engagement and Curator of South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum. His academic and curatorial projects have been featured in publications ranging from  The Times of India , The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and  Psychology Today.

Tracee J. Glab, Executive Director, Flint Institute of Arts

Tracee J. Glab is the Executive Director at the Flint Institute of Arts. Previously as Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, she oversaw more than 100 exhibitions and curated 40 exhibitions. Prior to her role at the FIA, she worked for 10 years at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Glab has her MA in Art History from Wayne State University and BA in Art History from University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, Executive Director, Parrish Art Museum

Dr. Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, Director of the Parrish Art Museum since June 2022, the same year she was appointed by President Biden to the National Museums and Libraries Board of Advisors. She is also a member of the International Council of Museums United States Board of Directors and a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Ramírez-Montagut received Bachelor of architecture degree from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and Masters and Ph.D. in Theory and History of architecture from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

Before joining the Parrish, Ramírez-Montagut was the Executive Director of the Michigan State University (MSU) Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, and the former Director of the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University in Louisiana. She has held curatorial positions at The San Jose Museum of Art, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe, Executive Director, Katonah Museum of Art

Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe is Executive Director of the Katonah Museum of Art. Prior to her appointment to the KMA, Yun Mapplethorpe was Vice President for Global Artistic Programs and Director of the Asia Society Museum, following her tenure as Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. During her ten years at Asia Society, Yun Mapplethorpe was curator or cocurator for over twenty-five exhibitions for the Museum, most notably the inaugural Asia Society Triennial, and survey exhibitions of Nam June Paik and Zao Wou-Ki. She has formerly served as curator for the Hunter College Art Galleries, Project Director of Cai Guo-Qiang’s studio, Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and adjunct lecturer at MoMA and SUNY New Paltz, in addition to organizing numerous independently curated exhibitions. Yun Mapplethorpe is a widely published author and frequent lecturer on modern and contemporary art. She earned her M.A. in Modern Art and Critical Studies from Columbia University and her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College. She is also a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute’s Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders and was a recipient of The Edward and Sally Van Leer Curatorial Twelve Month Fellowship at the Museum of Modern Art. Yun Mapplethorpe serves as a mentor for the Professional Alliance for Curators of Color, as part of the Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation, in addition to her role on the advisory board for the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, and affiliation with many other arts organizations.

Photo:He Art Museum, Loegunn Lai, 2021