The Fabric Workshop and Museum has named Susan Lubowsky Talbott, the former director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum, its interim director for the next year. Talbott will join the museum as it prepares for two major projects: a spring 2016 collaboration between visual artist Janine Antoni, choreographer and artist Anna Halprin, and choreographer Stephen Petronio; and a large-scale installation by Ann Hamilton in the fall of 2016.
Prior to leading the Wadsworth Atheneum, which was a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2013, Talbott served as director of Smithsonian Arts from 2005 to 2008, and as acting director of the National Museum of African Art in 2006. Before that, Talbott held positions as director and CEO of the Des Moines Art Center, executive director of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, director of the Visual Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, and director of the Whitney Museum’s branch museums at Equitable Center and Philip Morris in New York. She has also been a member of the boards of ArtTable, the French American Museum Exchange, the American Association of Museums/International Council of Museums, and the Association of Art Museum Directors. In November 2015, Talbott was awarded with the title of Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Artist Advisory committee chair John Ravenal said in a statement,
“Susan Talbott brings a rare depth of experience in successfully leading great institutions and, as a curator, extraordinary dedication to working with artists—a combination FWM needs at this moment. As well, her personal and professional devotion to [founder] Kippy Stroud, coupled with her impressive professional achievements, will help ensure The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s important role in the contemporary art world and the continuation of our unique mission.”