Introducing Kristen Becker, a specialist in museum engagement at Marianne Boesky Gallery
MARIANNE BOESKY OPENED HER FIRST GALLERY IN 1996 IN SOHO, NEW YORK AND, DURING THE LAST TWO DECADES, AS WE HAVE EXPERIENCED THE ENORMITY OF INTERNATIONAL GROWTH AND EXPANSION IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD, THE GALLERY HAS CONSISTENTLY UPHELD ITS COMMITMENT TO ARTISTS THAT EMBRACE A BROAD SPECTRUM OF MEDIUMS AND PRACTICES. SINCE ITS INCEPTION, MARIANNE AND THE GALLERY TEAM HAVE WORKED DILIGENTLY NOT ONLY TO DISCOVER NEW AND SUPPORT MID-CAREER ARTISTS BUT ALSO TO ENHANCE THE STATURE OF ITS ESTABLISHED ARTISTS ON AN INTERNATIONAL BASIS. INCLUSION IN MUSEUM COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITIONS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF BUILDING AN ARTIST’S REPUTATION AND TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO INTRODUCE KRISTEN BECKER,DIRECTOR AT MARIANNE BOESKY.
KRISTEN HOLDS A UNIQUE POSITION AS THE DIRECTOR OF MUSEUM ENGAGEMENT AT THE GALLERY, A RESPONSIBILITY THAT, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, IS NOT OFTEN SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED. HOW FORTUNATE FOR MARIANNE BOESKY’S ARTISTS TO HAVE SOMEONE CONCENTRATING ON DEVELOPING MUSEUM RELATIONSHIPS, PLACING WORKS IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS, ENCOURAGING DONATIONS TO THE MUSEUMS BY INVOLVED COLLECTORS AND ORGANIZING SOLO AND GROUP MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS.
HOW FORTUNATE FOR THE LRFA BLOG TO HAVE KRISTEN EXPLORE THIS AREA OF EXPERTISE WITH US IN THE POSTS TO FOLLOW!
IN 2006, MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY RELOCATED TO CHELSEA TO 509 WEST 24th STREET, A UNIQUE ARCHITECTURAL LANDMARK DESIGNED FOR THE GALLERY BY DEBORAH BURKE ASSOCIATES, WITH 10,000 SQUARE FEET THAT INCLUDES ONE FLOOR OF EXHIBITION SPACE AS WELL AS AREAS FOR ART PREPARATION AND ADMINISTRATION. SINCE THEN, THE GALLERY HAS OPENED TWO ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS, EACH WITH A UNIQUE PURPOSE AND CHARACTER. ONE GRACES THE UPPER EAST SIDE IN AN ELEGANT TOWNHOUSE AT 118 EAST 64th STREET AND IS DEDICATED TO CURATED EXHIBITIONS THAT PROVIDE HISTORICAL CONTENT FOR WORKS BY GALLERY ARTISTS AND A RECENT 2014 EXPANSION ESTABLISHED THE GALLERY’S PRESENCE AS BOESKY EAST ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE TO SHOWCASE CUTTING-EDGE PROJECTS AND INSTALLATIONS.
ALL THREE VENUES AS A WHOLE DEFINE MARIANNE’S VISIONARY EYE, AND THE GALLERY’S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINING AND GROWING THE EXHIBITION AND COLLECTOR PLATFORM FOR ITS ARTISTS. http://www.marianneboeskygallery.com/
KRISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE. IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO SPEAK WITH YOU AND NOW I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER. HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN ART?
My first love was actually archaeology. As a very young girl I responded so strongly to the idea of an archaeology dig, going down in to the earth to discover objects made by earlier cultures sounded like an amazing career path! I participated in two digs (one during high school and one during college) and was ready to pursue an advanced degree related to that field…and then my last semester of undergrad I took a Modern Art course and everything changed. I became less interested in utilitarian objects and instead focused all of my attention on visual culture of another kind.
WHAT WAS YOUR ACADEMIC PATH THAT LED YOU INTO THE ART WORLD?
My undergraduate degree is from Wake Forest University, I majored in Anthropology and I minored in Art History. After that fateful Modern Art course during my senior year I shifted all my Museum Studies grad school applications from Anthropology/Archaeology programs to Art History programs. I was accepted at George Washington University in Washington, DC and wanted to go there because of the school’s connection to the Smithsonian Institutions.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST POSITION? WAS IT IN THE MUSEUM WORLD OR GALLERY VENUE AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESPONSBILITIES?
My first job was taking tickets at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The main exhibition was paintings by Norman Rockwell, and when people descended the stairs to leave the museum I would try and engage them with the model of the proposed Frank Gehry renovation. I wanted to connect with the public but honestly it was a bit of an uphill battle! It wasn’t the most challenging job but it did instill in me a democratic way of approaching people, as some of the most unassuming visitors were trustees of the institution.
My second job was as the gallery assistant at David Adamson Gallery. Even though I was in a Museum Studies program I sought out an internship in a commercial gallery because I found that every time I took a class such as “Art from 1945 to the present” they never seemed to get past 1970. I wanted to learn about artwork from a time during which I lived, and I thought the best way to accomplish that was to work in a commercial gallery. My responsibilities ranged from doing the mailings, labeling slides, cleaning scuffs off the floor, helping hang the artwork, and sometimes assisting with client presentations. I loved all of it, and my boss Laurie Adamson was a wonderful woman who was industrious as well as warm and caring. We shared a space with David Adamson Editions and I had a great time learning more about printing processes and hearing about the projects they had coming down the pike.
THE LRFA BLOG LOOKS FORWARD TO LEARNING MORE ABOUT KRISTEN’S PROFESSIONAL HISTORY AND CURRENT ACTIVITIES. SHE IS EXTREMELY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT EMERGING AND ESTABLISHED ARTISTS, ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR TALENT.
DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HER PRESENCE ON THE LRFA BLOG AND ASK THIS GALLERY AND CONTEMPORARY ART SPECIALIST FOR HER ASTUTE PERSPECTIVE.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE YEAR AHEAD – AND WELCOME SUGGESTIONS FOR BLOGS AND INTERVIEWS.