The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York announced today that Gonzalo Casals will be the next director of the institution. He will begin in his post on March 6. The museum, which has been closed for construction since last October, will reopen later that week, on Friday, March 10.
Casals succeeds Hunter O’Hanian, who stepped down in July to serve as the executive director of the College Art Association. Casalas comes from Friends of the High Line, where he was in charge of programming and community outreach for the upraised High Line Park on former train tracks in Manhattan. He was previously the deputy executive director of El Museo del Barrio for seven years.
“When I first arrived to New York City, its rich and diverse cultural landscape helped me make sense of my life as a queer Latino immigrant and connected me to networks of like-minded people,” Casals said in a statement. “Now more than ever, culturally specific museums like Leslie-Lohman take on a renewed sense of relevancy.”
In September 2015, the museum announced a 2,300-square-foot expansion that almost doubles its exhibition space. The expansion was conceived in part to allow the museum to remain open year-round. (It would previously have to close between exhibitions for de-installation.) It will also allow for a permanent gallery space to show the museum’s collection and archives of some 30,000 objects.
The museum will open the renovated space with an exhibition titled “Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting,” which will look at the evolution of the museum, founded in 1987 amid changing attitudes toward queer identities since the 1950s.