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Rebecca Rabinow Named Director at Menil Collection


Dr. Rebecca Rabinow.


The Menil Collection in Houston has announced that Dr. Rebecca Rabinow will be taking over as the institution’s director, effective in July. Rabinow is currently the Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art at the Met, where she has worked since 1990. 

“The Board and senior staff of the Menil Collection unanimously join me in welcoming Rebecca Rabinow as our new executive leader, and in offering our profound thanks to Mark Wawro and the search committee for this brilliant appointment,” board of trustees president Janet Hobby said in a statement. “They have selected a director who combines the highest level of curatorial and scholarly achievement with a proven record of museum leadership and lifelong ties to Houston and the Menil Collection. We could not have hoped for more.”

Indeed, Rabinow is a Houston native, and spent time volunteering there in 1988 after graduating from Smith College. Her main task was preserving Dominique and John de Menil’s letters by placing them in Mylar sleeves.

“However cut-and-dried that might sound, their letters radiated such a sense of history, mission, and creativity that I was hooked on the first day,” Rabinow said in the press release. “It is abundantly clear to me that the Menil set me on my career path.”

The search comes almost a year after the last director, Josef Helfenstein, left following an eleven-year tenure to become the director of the Kunstmuseum Basel.

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