The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York has named David Breslin, who currently works as director of the collection at the museum, as its first-ever director of curatorial initiatives. Jane Panetta, associate curator and co-curator of the 2019 Whitney Biennial, will take up the role of director of the collection. Both Breslin and Panetta will assume their new positions in October.
As director of curatorial initiatives, Breslin will work closely with Scott Rothkopf, senior deputy director and chief curator, in overseeing the department and developing the Whitney’s exhibition program. He will also continue to make acquisitions and curate exhibitions. He co-curated “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night” (2018), and organized four collection displays, including “Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s” (2019) and “An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017” (2017-18).
He said in a statement, “The Whitney’s mission always has been to foster the work of artists. The initiatives we take on embrace that history while preparing for a future that reflects the dynamic and changing contours of American art and culture.”
Panetta will lead the curatorial department’s collection team and manage the museum’s acquisitions and displays of its holdings. She will co-direct the museum’s strategic plan for its collection, along with the Whitney’s Emerging Artists Working Group. Some of her curatorial credits include “Fast Forward: Paintings from the 1980s” (2017) and “America Is Hard to See” (2015). She has led acquisitions of works by Nina Chanel Abney, Maggie Lee, and Jamian Juliano-Villani.
“I look forward to working even more closely with the extraordinary collection that is at the heart of the institution and that has been deeply important to me since joining the Museum,” Panetta said in a release.