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Jessie Washburne-Harris. Photo: Axel Dupeux/Pace Gallery.
Jessie Washburne-Harris. Photo: Axel Dupeux/Pace Gallery.

Pace Gallery Names Jessie Washburne-Harris Vice President

New York’s Pace Gallery has lured Jessie Washburne-Harris away from Marian Goodman Gallery, where she worked for eight years, naming her vice president. Washburne-Harris, who most recently served as executive director of Marian Goodman, previously cofounded the New York–based Harris Lieberman, a vibrant young gallery that successfully weathered the global financial crisis of 2008 to become an estimable force showing emerging international artists before closing in 2013.

“I am thrilled that Jessie is joining our team,” said Pace CEO and president Marc Glimcher in a statement. “Her time working alongside Marian and with artists at the vanguard, coupled with her vast experience from previous ventures, has equipped Jessie with a unique skillset that perfectly complements the expertise of our current team. Jessie has been instrumental in ensuring and expanding the legacy of the historic and inimitable Marian Goodman Gallery and we look forward to having her aboard at Pace.”

Washburne-Harris leaves Marian Goodman for Pace at a time when the former gallery is contracting physically and the latter expanding: Marian Goodman shuttered its outpost in London last October, while Pace, arguably one of the world’s largest galleries, announced the opening of a second branch there in November. Pace is additionally expanding its footprint in Seoul, considered a burgeoning market.

The appointment also comes in the wake of allegations that the megagallery fostered a toxic workplace in its New York offices, where Washburne-Harris will work. Top dealers Douglas Baxter and Susan Dunne last autumn faced accusations that they had verbally and emotionally abused employees. Dunne eventually left for David Zwirner, while Baxter, a president of Pace at the time, took leave and returned in a reduced role.

“I have been watching closely as Marc Glimcher has set a new course for Pace,” said Washburne-Harris in a statement, “and I have been impressed with how the gallery is navigating the landscape of the changing art world under his watch. Pace has an incredible legacy—it has played a vital role in shaping our shared understanding of contemporary art history. Today, the gallery’s visionary thinking, both in the physical and digital spheres, makes it an exciting place to be. After eight wonderful years with Marian Goodman, the time feels right to embrace new challenges. I am honored to join the Pace team at this key moment.”

In her new role, Washburne-Harris will work alongside Adam Sheffer, another Pace vice president, as well as sales heads Samanthe Rubell and Joe Baptista.

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