The Art Students League of New York announced today that Michael Rips, an attorney who specializes in artists’ rights and intellectual property law, has been named its new executive director. Rips succeeds Ira Goldberg, who retired in January 2017.
“Michael is a uniquely talented individual who understands art, artists, creativity, nonprofits, fundraising, and the law,” Art Students League board president Ellen Taylor said in a statement. “He is known and respected by many of America’s most distinguished artists and civic and cultural leaders. Having worked to successfully reinvigorate the league in recent years, we look forward to having Michael bring our institution to even greater heights.”
Prior to joining the Art Students League, Rips was a special council in the New York office of Steptoe & Johnson, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. His clients have included artists James Rosenquist and David Salle, the Queens Museum, the estate of Dan Flavin, and the Dia Art Foundation. A graduate of Princeton University, Oxford University, and George Washington University Law School, Rips writes frequently on the arts and has built an extensive collection of African and contemporary art.
According to the Art Students League, membership is the strongest it’s been in seventeen years, and the school’s endowment is at an all-time high. The 143-year-old institution is currently celebrating the 125th anniversary of its landmark home, the American Fine Arts Society Building.