Richard Armstrong Named New Director of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

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Richard Armstrong, Director of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has unanimously confirmed the appointment of Richard Armstrong, effective November 4, to the position of Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Armstrong, 59, has been the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh since 1996. His appointment comes after an extensive international search following the February 2008 resignation of Thomas Krens.

As director of both the Foundation and the Foundation's flagship Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Armstrong will focus on the pivotal role of the New York museum while also providing leadership and management for the four other institutions in the Guggenheim network: the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, scheduled to open in early 2013.

“The invitation to serve as the fifth director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is a great honor,” said Armstrong. “The Guggenheim's exceptional collection, iconic architecture, distinguished staff, and visionary history—not just in New York, but in its other locations around the world—make my new leadership role a great and welcome challenge. One of my early goals will be to build on the legacy and mission of the museum, recognizing its idealism and allegiance to artists.”

Prior to his appointment as director of the Carnegie Museum, Armstrong served four years as chief curator and curator of contemporary art. From 1981 to 1992, he was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he organized four biennials. He also served as a curator at La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California.

Armstrong, who grew up in Kansas City, MO, graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. He also studied at the Université de Paris, Sorbonne, and the Université de Dijon. Prior to his official start date Armstrong plans to visit the Guggenheim museums in Venice, Bilbao, and Berlin.


Richard Armstrong, who will assume the position of Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on November 4, 2008. Photo: David Heald