Valérie Rousseau has been named the American Folk Art Museum’s new curator of 20th-century and contemporary art. Rousseau, who served as the programs director of the 2012 and 2013 Outsider Art Fair, was appointed by the museum’s executive director Anne-Imelda Radice, who joined the museum in September.
A Quebec native, Rosseau cofounded the Société des arts indisciplinés, Montreal, in 1998. She served as director and curator of the organization (Canada’s first for the study and presentation of self-taught art) through 2007. Her responsibilities at the Folk Art Museum will primarily involve planning exhibitions and public programming, with chief curator and director of exhibitions Stacy C. Hollander.
“Her incisive and refined approach to folk art in its many forms, as well as her scholarly focus on the history of self-taught artists as a discipline within the larger field of art-whether on the university level or within the art community-makes her ideally qualified,” said Radice in a press release.
Hiring Rosseau is perhaps a further sign (following Radice’s appointment and the receipt of a million-dollar gift) that the museum is recovering from a difficult 2011, in which the debt-ridden institution canceled an exhibition intended to coincide with the Venice Biennale, lost director Maria Ann Conelli, and sold and closed its 53rd Street home. Rosseau’s tenure at the Folk Art Museum begins Feb. 14.