Croquer steps down as head of Rose Art museum; Gannit Ankori named interim

Luis croquer in a suit and tie standing against a window
Photo/Stanton J. Stephens

Luis Croquer

Brandeis University has announced that Luis Croquer, the Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum, has decided to step down after three years as director.  

Since Croquer came to Brandeis he has overseen critically acclaimed exhibitions, significantly increased attendance, and brought a new sense of optimism and possibility to the Rose. Attendance at the museum increased 43 percent between 2017 and 2019 and the number of public programs increased by 11 percent. Croquer focused on increasing grants, efforts that led to a prestigious Henry Luce Foundation Grant awarded in 2020.

In designing the Rose’s programs and exhibitions, he focused on creating spaces for true dialogue in the context of a deeply polarized world.  As chief curator he brought extensive knowledge and understanding of contemporary art to carefully and meticulously explore the Rose’s extraordinary permanent collection of more than 9,000 objects. Inspired by these works, he created memorable exhibits with never-before-shown pieces.

Croquer balanced presentations from the permanent collection with temporary exhibits featuring new artists such as Tuesday Smillie and bringing back to campus artists such as Howardena Pindell. He also made significant progress restructuring the museum’s staff to better align with the new vision for the museum, expanding the integration of the Rose with the University’s academic programs, building more robust financial and curatorial systems, and making significant progress in fundraising.  

Lizbeth Krupp, chair of the board of advisors of the Rose Art Museum, said “Under Luis’s leadership, the Rose has become much more integrated into the cultural and intellectual life on campus, embracing the university’s values of academic excellence, social justice, engaged learning, and global citizenship. It was a pleasure working with him.”

Gannit Ankori seated in front of a bookshelf

Professor Gannit Ankori

Gannit Ankori, professor of art history and theory at the departments of fine arts, women, gender and sexuality studies, and the Schusterman center, has agreed to serve as interim Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum starting July 1. Ankori is a critically acclaimed author, curator and educator, who brings a deep knowledge of the unique role that the Rose Art Museum plays as a world-class museum of contemporary art within a university setting. Her leadership will be invaluable, especially at this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19.

“In times of crisis and loss we palpably realize that art is an essential human need. Over the last months we have witnessed first hand the vital role of the arts in helping individuals and communities cope, heal and make meaning. The importance of the Rose Art Museum and art in general for our community and our world cannot be overstated,” Ankori noted.

Ankori has published numerous books, catalogues and articles about modern and contemporary art viewed from a global perspective, with emphasis on issues pertaining to gender, nationalism, identity, religion, trauma, exile, hybridity, disability and their manifestations in the creative arts. Her books and essays have been published in numerous languages including Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish. She is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking scholarship on Frida Kahlo. In addition to her books and articles, she has also worked on innovative curatorial projects, most recently in collaboration with Mexican fashion curator Circe Henestrosa, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2018), at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York (2019), and at the De Young museum in San Francisco (2020). She served as the founding head of Brandeis’ division of creative arts (2013-2019), curated three exhibitions with accompanying catalogues at the Rose Art Museum (2012, 2015, 2016), is a member of the museum’s collections committee and board of advisors, and was the Director of Integrated Arts and Faculty Curator at the Rose (2013-2017).

“I want to thank Luis for his inspired work at the Rose these past several years, and for expanding its audience,” said Brandeis president Ron Liebowitz. “I am delighted that Gannit has agreed to step into the role of interim Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum. Her deep devotion to the museum, scholarly acumen, curatorial expertise, and proven capacity to lead and inspire make her the ideal choice for this leadership position. Brandeis is committed to the creative arts and to our stellar museum, and we are eager to partner with Gannit to support, uplift, and celebrate the Rose.”


Categories: Arts

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