Kelly Taxter Named New Director of the Parrish Art Museum

Kelly Taxter, will become the Parrish Art Museum's new director on March 22, 2021. Jason Nocito photo.
The Board of Trustees of the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton has named Kelly Taxter as the museum’s next director. Taxter comes to the Parrish Art Museum from the Jewish Museum in New York City where she was the Barnett and Annalee Newman Curator of Contemporary Art. She assumes her new role on March 22, joining a rising class of new, influential female museum leaders around the country.“I am honored to have been selected as the next director of the Parrish Art Museum,” said Taxter. “It is a great privilege to lead the institution at this critical moment of change. I look forward to joining the Parrish board and team in welcoming visitors from all backgrounds to our unparalleled building, and sharing exhibitions and collection presentations that reflect not only the artistic history of the East End, but also the bright future of the museum.”

According to a release from the Parrish board, after a broad search from a large pool of diverse candidates, it was decided that “Kelly’s depth of experience in the contemporary art world and at the Jewish Museum, where tradition melds with innovation, will enable her to infuse the Parrish with a new vitality and with a fresh perspective on the role that the Parrish can play in our complex community.

“We look forward to her bold vision, her strong leadership and to turning the page to a new and exciting chapter in the history of the Parrish Art Museum,” the release continued. “Kelly will benefit from the legacy of the strong directors she succeeds and whose contributions laid the foundation for the museum’s next phase of excellence.”

Taxter  joined the Jewish Museum in 2013 and held the museum’s first endowed and named contemporary curator position. While at the Jewish Museum, she organized major surveys of Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Rachel Feinstein, and will serve as guest curator for the first U.S. survey of filmmaker Jonas Mekas in 2022; she led commissions, projects, and exhibitions with Math Bass, Eliza Douglas, Alex Israel, Eva LeWitt, Peter Shire, Laurie Simmons, Valeska Soares, Vivan Suter and Lawrence Weiner, among others; and co-curated an exhibition on Isaac Mizrahi and thematic group exhibitions including ”Take Me (I’m Yours)” and “Unorthodox.”

From 2012 to 2013 she was Consulting Curator at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she organized major solo exhibitions of Martin Creed, Harry Dodge, and Robert Longo.

In 2003, Taxter co-founded Taxter & Spengemann (with Pascal Spengemann), a gallery where she represented artists Lutz Bacher, Frank Benson, Xavier Cha, Matt Johnson, Kalup Linzy, Wardell Milan, and A.L. Steiner, among others.

Taxter studied fine art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University, where she earned her B.A. She received her M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.