January 21, 2016

The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia Appoints Susan Lubowsky Talbott as Interim Executive Director
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Susan Lubowsky Talbott. Photo credit: Allen Phillips. 
Susan Lubowsky Talbott. Photo credit: Allen Phillips.


The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia Appoints

Susan Lubowsky Talbott as Interim Executive Director

Veteran Museum Professional Takes Helm of Leading Contemporary Organization 

The Board of Directors of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) has appointed one of the nation’s most seasoned museum directors to lead its programs and guide its planning for the next year. Susan Lubowsky Talbott, who retired in December as the director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, comes to The Fabric Workshop and Museum as the internationally acclaimed organization undertakes two especially ambitious projects: in spring 2016, a pioneering collaboration between visual artist Janine Antoni; choreographer, theater, and community artist Anna Halprin; and choreographer Stephen Petronio; and in the fall, a major installation by Ann Hamilton.
“We are fortunate to have a person with such strong skills to guide our current transition. After the sudden loss of our visionary founder, Marion (Kippy) Boulton Stroud (1939-2015), the board, artist advisory committee, and staff have continued their commitment to the resident artists and scheduled exhibition programs, while planning for the future. With such strong artistic and managerial leadership to guide us, we can proceed with even greater confidence,” said The Fabric Workshop and Museum President Katherine Sokolnikoff.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum is acclaimed around the world for its unique and longstanding contribution to contemporary art and culture. Renowned and emerging artists are invited to its Philadelphia studios to create experimental new works in an array of disciplines—from new media, performance, sculpture, installation, and video to painting, ceramics, and architecture.
“Susan Talbott brings a rare depth of experience in successfully leading great institutions and, as a curator, extraordinary dedication to working with artists—a combination FWM needs at this moment,” said Artist Advisory Committee Chair John Ravenal. “As well, her personal and professional devotion to Kippy Stroud, coupled with her impressive professional achievements, will help ensure The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s important role in the contemporary art world and the continuation of our unique mission.”
Susan Lubowsky Talbott
Prior to her successful and highly acclaimed transformative leadership of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, Ms. Talbott was the Director of Smithsonian Arts, Washington, DC (2005–08), and Acting Director of the National Museum of African Art in 2006. Previously, Ms. Talbott served as Director and CEO of the Des Moines Art Center; Executive Director of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC; Director of the Visual Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC; and Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s branch museums at Equitable Center and Philip Morris in New York.
She has organized or co-organized many memorable exhibitions, including Patti Smith: Camera Solo; Andy Goldsworthy: Three Cairns; and My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation. She holds BFA and MFA degrees from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and was a Harvard University Fellow in the Art Museum Directors’ Program. She has taught at SUNY, Brockport and New York University, and serves on the board of ArtTable, the national leadership organization of professional women in the arts. Previously, she served on the boards of the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME), the American Association of Museums/International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). Ms. Talbott was inducted as a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in November 2015.
Under Talbott’s leadership, the Wadsworth Atheneum was a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2013, and in 2014 the Museum received a $9.6 million endowment for European art acquisitions, bringing the total endowment to more than $100 million. In September 2015, the final phase of a 5-year, $33 million program of infrastructure, storage, and gallery renovation was completed with 17 new galleries and a dynamic reinstallation of the contemporary, postwar, and European collections. Roberta Smith writing for the New York Times called the project “brilliant.”
About The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum was founded by Marion Boulton Stroud in 1977 with a visionary purpose: to stimulate experimentation among leading contemporary artists and to share the process of creating works of art with the public. For nearly four decades now, the organization has extended studio facilities, equipment, and expert technical support to leading artists so that they may experiment with innovative materials and media. The Fabric Workshop and Museum has also served as an education center for Philadelphia youth who, as printing apprentices, learn technical and vocational skills along with approaches to creative expression.
Research, construction, and fabrication occur on-site in studios that are open to the public, providing visitors with the opportunity to see artwork from conception to completion. The unique works of art created at FWM are shown throughout the United States and the world in major museums and cultural venues.
Since its founding, The Fabric Workshop and Museum has developed from an ambitious experiment to a renowned institution with a celebrated Artist-in-Residence Program, an extensive permanent collection, in-house and touring exhibitions, and comprehensive educational programming including lectures, tours, in-school presentations, and student apprenticeships. Recognized worldwide for its commitment to supporting artists in a studio practice, The Fabric Workshop and Museum is part of the dynamic art ecology of Philadelphia and supported by the foundations community and arts patrons nationally.
The programs of The Fabric Workshop and Museum are supported by AG Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Arcadia Foundation; Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation; The Coby Foundation, Ltd.; Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation; E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation; The Honickman Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; The Knight Foundation; LLWW Foundation; Louis N. Cassett Foundation; Museums ConnectSM made possible by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Alliance of Museums; National Endowment for the Arts; New Millennium Charitable Foundation; The New York Community Trust; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; The Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; The Shipley-Miller Foundation; and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
For more information, or to request images, please contact Anne Edgar at anne@anneedgar.com, or 646.336.7230. Michele Bregande, Assistant to the Directors – Public Relations, at michele@fabricworkshopandmuseum.org, or 215.561.8888.
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