The International Center of Photography has announced that Brian Wallis, deputy director of exhibitions and collections and chief curator since 1999, will be stepping down at the end of February.
Wallis has led ICP’s department of Exhibitions and Collections since joining the institution in September 1999. His tenure was defined by a curatorial program that focused on contemporary perspectives, while critically examining the history of photojournalism and documentary photography for which the institution is renowned.
Under his direction, ICP presented more than 150 exhibitions and installations and acquired more than 20,000 photographs with a strong emphasis on political issues such as Abu Ghraib, the war in Iraq, 9/11, Occupy Wall Street, Hurricane Sandy, rural poverty, and apartheid in South Africa. His notable exhibitions include “Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video” (with Edward Earle, Christopher Phillips, and Carol Squiers, 2003); “Larry Clark” (2005); “America and the Tintype” (2009); “Miroslav Tichy” (2010); “Weegee: Murder Is My Business” (2012); and “JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander’s View of History” (2013). The most significant acquisition made during his directorship was the 2007 recovery of the Mexican Suitcase, a long-lost cache of 4,300 negatives made during the Spanish Civil War by photojournalists Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim.
Before joining ICP, Wallis served at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He is planning to curate for the Walther Collection, and is in currently developing an exhibition and publication, “The Order of Things: Photography from The Walther Collection,” which will open in May at the Walther Collection museum in Neu-Ulm/Burlafingen, Germany.
ICP, which is transitioning to a new museum space on the Bowery, has begun searching for Wallis’s successor.