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David E. Little to Lead New York’s International Center of Photography

The International Center of Photography in New York has named David E. Little as is next executive director. Little, who for the past six years has helmed the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Massachusetts, will replace Mark Lubell, who served as ICP’s executive director since 2013 before announcing his intention to depart earlier this spring. The changeover is to take place in mid-September.

Little brings to the ICP extensive fundraising experience as well as a strong background in education and community outreach, having previously served as curator and department head of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, associate director and head of education at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and director of adult and academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art, also in New York. 

“Joining ICP is an ideal opportunity that unites my long-standing interests in photography and education, for an organization that has done so much to train and nurture generations of artists,” said Little in a statement, going on to acknowledge the value of socially and politically minded images, and the ways in which the distribution of such images has changed in recent years, thanks to technology. “ICP is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this moment, to build upon its leadership in international photography, education, and scholarship, and to strengthen its connections with its Lower East Side neighbors,” he concluded.

The ICP, like many arts organizations worldwide, was forced to shutter in March 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic surged. Just two months earlier, the institution had exuberantly thrown open the doors to its glassy new $60 million digs on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in which the ICP’s galleries and school were housed together for the first time in twenty years. With the advent of the then-novel coronavirus, the school moved online, where it remains, with enrollment dropping substantially from an annual average of 3,500 students to just 1,700. The galleries, which reopened in October 2020 with restrictions and with visitor hours limited to four days a week, are expected to welcome patrons six days a week beginning in September, while the school, which will continue to offer a robust online program, is to again hold in-person classes.

“If it is difficult to understate the challenges of the last eighteen months, it is hard to overstate our optimism for the future of ICP and its new Lower East Side facilities,” said ICP board chair Carly Englander in a statement. “Bringing our education and exhibition spaces back together is an important milestone for this organization, setting the stage for us to engage both local and global communities in new and exciting ways.”  

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