Richard Klein, the longtime exhibitions director at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, will leave the museum in June after more than three decades in the role. His final exhibition at the museum will open in February 2023.
Klein began his 30-year tenure with the institution as a registrar and preparator in 1990. In 1995, he organized his first exhibition at the Aldrich, a group show titled “Drawn on the Museum” featuring works by Karen Finley, Sol LeWitt, Dorothea Rockburne, Nancy Spero, and Martin Wong. He was named the museum’s exhibitions director shortly after and has served as an interim director on several occasions of the years.
During his tenure, Klein has organized 95 exhibitions at the museum, which has become known for giving early institutional showcases for artists who would go on to become among the most closely watched artists of their generations. Among the solo shows he has curated include ones for Fred Wilson, Elizabeth Peyton, Mark Dion, Shimon Attie, Michael Joo, Taylor Davis, Alex Schweder, and Ward Shelley.
Though it was founded in the 1960s by fashion designer and collector Larry Aldrich, the Aldrich’s current director, Cybele Maylone, said, “It’s hard to believe that the Aldrich existed before Richard’s arrival.” In a statement, Klein credited artists as well as the museum’s staff and trustees with helping him realize his vision for the institution’s exhibition programming over the years, to create, “what a contemporary art museum should be.”
Klein is leaving the museum to pursue independent projects related to the arts. His most recent exhibition, “Duane Slick: The Coyote Makes the Sunset Better,” will open on January 16 and run through May 8.