The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Appoints Karole P.B. Vail to Lead the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
(NEW YORK AND VENICE – June 8, 2017) –– Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, today announced the appointment of Guggenheim curator Karole P.B. Vail as Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Foundation Director for Italy. A member of the Guggenheim’s curatorial staff since 1997 and a granddaughter of Peggy Guggenheim, Ms. Vail becomes only the second director in the history of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, succeeding Philip Rylands, who led the museum for 37 years and will become Director Emeritus. Ms. Vail will assume her duties in Venice this month, reporting to Richard Armstrong.
Ms. Vail’s most recent exhibition for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York was the highly regarded retrospective Moholy-Nagy: Future Present (2016), which she organized in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is currently co- organizing the retrospective Alberto Giacometti, to be presented at the Guggenheim in New York in 2018.
Richard Armstrong said, “Having worked closely with Karole Vail for almost a decade, I have the deepest respect for her scholarship, curatorial insight, unfailingly sound judgment, and collegial management style. I have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the Peggy Guggenheim Collection into the future, and know that her personal ties to the institution and roots in Italy and Europe will add an unmatched depth and nuance to her work.”
William L. Mack, Chairman of the Guggenheim Board of Trustees, said, “Karole Vail assumes leadership at an auspicious moment, when the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is enjoying record attendance and a strong exhibition program, and recently completed a successful capital campaign to support key renovation projects at the Palazzo. Karole’s appointment begins a special and exciting new chapter in the museum’s history.”
Karole Vail said, “I have known and loved Peggy’s collection, and the palazzo and garden that are its home, since I was a child. Now it is my privilege and honor to lead this exceptional institution, carrying forward Peggy’s vision and ensuring that it remains a vital part of today’s culture, as she would have
wanted it to be. I embark on this role with a sense of great responsibility, an eye to the future and a deep appreciation for Peggy’s extraordinary accomplishments.”
About Karole P.B. Vail
Karole P.B. Vail, a curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and a member of its curatorial staff since 1997, will assume her duties as Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Foundation Director for Italy in Venice in June 2017.
Among the exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum for which she has served as curator or co-curator, in addition to Moholy-Nagy: Future Present and Alberto Giacometti, are Peggy Guggenheim: A Centennial Celebration (1998); Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim (2005-06); and From Berlin to New York: Karl Nierendorf and the Guggenheim (2008).
Ms. Vail has also been a collaborator and coordinator for Surrealism: Two Private Eyes, The Nesuhi Ertegun and Daniel Filipacchi Collections (1999); Armani (2000); Boccioni’s Materia: A Futurist Masterpiece and the Avant-Garde in Milan and Paris (2004); Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition: Photographs and Mannerist Prints (2004); Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York (2006); Solomon’s Gift: The Foundation Collection of the Guggenheim, 1937-1949 (2007); Richard Pousette-Dart (2008); Kandinsky (2009), in conjunction with which she also organized the photography exhibition Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter in the Guggenheim’s Sackler Center for Education; Picasso Black and White (2013); and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility, Mirror Works and Drawings 1974-2014 (2014-15).
Among the many publications that Ms. Vail has written, co-written or edited are The Museum of Non- Objective Painting: Hilla Rebay and the Origins of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, conceived of by Ms. Vail and published in 2009 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum; Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, which received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Awards for Excellence of the Association of Art Museum Curators; Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim; and Peggy Guggenheim: A Celebration. Ms. Vail has also contributed texts and entries to catalogues such as Kandinsky, Armani and Surrealism: Two Private Eyes, The Nesuhi Ertegun and Daniel Filipacchi Collections.
She is a co-founder and co-director of Non-Objectif Sud, a not-for-profit artist residency and exhibition program in the south of France.
Prior to joining the Guggenheim, Ms. Vail served as an archivist and researcher at Centro Di in Florence, Italy, a documentation center and publishing house specializing in art history, architecture and decorative arts, and as an assistant curator on independent projects. Educated in the U.K., she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Durham University and a Diploma in Art History from the New Academy for Art Studies in London.
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through
exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative.
About the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Located on Venice’s Grand Canal between Santa Maria della Salute and the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of Europe’s premier museums devoted to modern art and is the second-most-visited museum in Venice. At the core of the museum’s holdings is Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of 20th century art, comprising masterpieces ranging in style from Cubism and Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection also exhibits other works owned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, presents temporary exhibitions and manages and operates the U.S. Pavilion of the Venice Biennale.