(New York, February 18, 2014)—Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that Daniel Brodsky, the Museum’s Chairman, and his wife Estrellita B. Brodsky, an art historian and specialist in Latin American art, have provided a generous gift to endow two important curatorships in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. This expansion of curatorial staff provides major support for the department’s broadened programming in both the main building and the Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue that will be vacated by the Whitney Museum in 2015 and subsequently occupied by the Met.
In recognition of their gift, the two new positions will be named the Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, to be held by a specialist in the art of 20th- and 21st-century Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America; and the Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design, including responsibility for the department’s holdings of architecture- and design-related objects and other material. Both will work closely with the modern and contemporary curatorial team on researching and developing the collection and devising the program at the Breuer building, under the leadership of Sheena Wagstaff, the Museum’s Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art.
In making the announcement, Mr. Campbell said, “Through their generosity and vision, Dan and Estrellita Brodsky have taken a leadership role in our initiative to strengthen the resources and programming for modern and contemporary art. The two new curators will join us at a particularly exciting time, as we lead up to the opening of the Madison Avenue location. Developing our program for the expanded space in which modern and contemporary art will be displayed is a challenge and inspiration for our curators, both within and beyond the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. We look forward to providing the public with a global representation of the art of our time, set within the context of the Met’s unparalleled encyclopedic collection.”
Mr. Campbell continued, “The new curator for modern and contemporary Latin American art will complement the work of recently appointed curators for art of the ancient Americas and for Colonial Latin American art. This will provide curatorial continuity here for the artistic traditions of the Americas, particularly Latin America, more substantially than ever before. It is also worth noting that the architecture and design curatorship is a new position for the Met, casting fresh light on an area of scholarship and increasing public interest that affects us profoundly in our day-to-day lives.”
Mr. Brodsky, a real-estate developer based in Manhattan, has been a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum since 2001 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2011. He is a longtime supporter of the Met and its programs. His participation began in 1984 when he joined the Museum’s Real Estate Council, which he has chaired since 1996. He has also led since 2011 the Met’s Buildings Committee, which works closely with the Museum’s administration to oversee the care, maintenance, and construction activities of the 2.3-million-square-foot building, as well as the complex infrastructure that supports it. Mr. Brodsky has also chaired two special Trustee committees: the first, to oversee negotiations with the Whitney Museum for use by the Met of the Whitney’s current building on Madison Avenue; and the second, to supervise the comprehensive redesign and reconstruction of the Museum’s outdoor plaza and fountains along Fifth Avenue, which are scheduled to open in September 2014.
Estrellita Brodsky is a founding member of the Multicultural Audience Development Advisory Committee at the Metropolitan Museum, which seeks to diversify the Museum’s cultural content and outreach. She curated the first U.S. retrospective exhibition of the Venezuelan kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Americas Society in 2008; and the exhibition Jesus Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950-1970 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in 2012. She endowed the Estrellita Brodsky Curator for Latin American Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is a member of MoMA’s Latin American and Caribbean Acquisitions Committee as well as of the board of Tate Americas Foundation. She also received the 2011 Manhattan Borough President’s Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her work in the field of Latin American art in the City of New York. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.