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Liverpool Biennial Director Sally Tallant to Lead the Queens Museum

Sally Tallant, head of the Liverpool Biennial in England, has been named the new director of the Queens Museum in New York. Tallant will succeed Laura Raicovich—who stepped down from the helm of the institution in January following disagreements with the museum’s board—next spring. During her three-year tenure, Raicovich had been outspoken about her political views and clashed with the board over an event the institution held that was sponsored by the Israeli government. Her departure sparked a debate about the role and responsibilities of museums today.

As director of the Liverpool Biennial, Tallant faced difficulties earlier this year, when one of the artworks included in the exhibition’s latest edition, which closed on October 28, was repeatedly targeted by vandals. The List, a massive installation by the Turkish artist Banu Cennetoğlu featuring the names of 34,361 refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers who have died while trying to reach Europe since 2013, was torn down and defaced on multiple occasions, prompting the mayor of the city to denounce the “fascist thugs” behind the attacks. Prior to joining the biennial, Tallant served as head of programs at the Serpentine Galleries in London from 2001 to 2011. She is also a member of the International Biennial Association’s board and a member of the London Regional Council for Arts Council England.

“Her unique combination of local and global experience in the arts world made her the superlative choice for leading the Queens Museum, and for serving the borough’s distinctively international constituency,” Mark J. Coleman, the museum’s board chairman, said in a statement.

Commenting on her new post, Tallant said: “Amid the difficulties and stress points we see in the world today, institutions like the Queens Museum are key in terms of creating cultural spaces for people to engage with the urgent issues of our time.”