11 Talented Women To Know

Who’s who? W salutes the women transforming some of the country’s foremost art institutions.

Who's Who: Naomi Beckwith
Photographer: Peter Ash Lee
Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“There’s a perception that curating is tastefully arranging objects in a room, then partying like a rock star. In fact, it’s nerdy, scholarly work.”

Naomi Beckwith, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“Any artist worth their salt looks over their shoulder at their predecessors to push their art further.” Sheena Wagstaff, Chairman of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“People imagine technology as gadgets and wires. My interest as a curator has always been in its cultural, social, and even psychological implications in art and the world.” Lauren Cornell, Curator and Associate Director, Technology Initiatives, New Museum.

Styled by Sam Walker; Hair and makeup by Tinna Empera at Cloutier Remix; Cornell wears The Row dress; Manolo Blahnik pumps

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

Amada Cruz, Director, Phoenix Art Museum.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“When i started at MOCA, my former colleagues at the ICA Boston bought me a brass business card holder. it was engraved with the words ‘talented motherfucker.’ ”

Helen Molesworth, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

Cara Starke , Director, Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“When I arrived, I found out that 62 percent of the ICA’s collection is work by women artists! Unheard of.” Eva Respini, Chief Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director, Aspen Art Museum.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

Jessica Morgan , Director, Dia Art Foundation.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“Every day on the job is a day of discovery. i mean, who knew one of the original monuments men was the first conservator at the museum?”

Anne Pasternak, Director, Brooklyn Museum.

Styled by Caroline Grosso; Hair and makeup by Tinna Empera at Cloutier Remix; Pasternak wears Dolce & Gabbana jacket, shirt, and skirt; Manolo Blahnik mules; her own Arme de l’amour bracelets.

Photographer: Peter Ash Lee

“What surprised me most was finding that the Hirshhorn has the largest holding of Willem de Koonings of any museum in the world. That was a real ‘Wow!’ moment.”

Melissa Chiu, Director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.