Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, announced today that Karole P. B. Vail, who has been a member of the Guggenheim’s curatorial staff since 1997, has been appointed director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and foundation director for Italy.
Vail, a granddaughter of Peggy Guggenheim, will be the second director in the history of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. She succeeds Philip Rylands, who led the museum for thirty-seven years and will become director emeritus.
“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,” Armstrong said. “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.”
Vail’s most recent exhibition for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York was the 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 “Alberto Giacometti,” which will open at the Guggenheim in New York in 2018. She is a cofounder and codirector of Non-Objectif Sud, a nonprofit artist residency and exhibition program in the south of France.
Prior to joining the Guggenheim, Vail served as an archivist and researcher at Centro Di, a documentation center and publishing house specializing in art history, architecture, and decorative arts in Florence, and as an assistant curator on independent projects. Educated in the UK, she received her bachelor’s degree from Durham University and from the New Academy for Art Studies in London.
“I have known and loved Peggy’s collection, and the palazzo and garden that are its home, since I was a child,” Vail said. “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.”