Whitney Museum Appoints David Breslin Curator and Director of the Collection

The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced that David Breslin, currently the chief curator of the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, will join the institution as curator and director of the collection. Breslin will take up the position in October.

“David is that rare and remarkable combination of a scholarly curator and sensitive champion of living artists,” Scott Rothkopf, deputy director for programs and chief curator, said. He added, “In his leadership position at the Whitney, he will help steward our collection and shape its future by guiding acquisition strategy, along with the display and publication of our holdings.”

During his tenure at the Menil Drawing Institute, Breslin helped shape the design of its new facility, which is slated to open in 2017. He curated “The Precarious” (2015–16) and “Harold Ancart: There Is No There There” (2016). Breslin also supervised the production of the catalogue raisonné of Jasper Johns’ drawings that will be published next year and grew the collection with acquisitions of works by artists including Trisha Brown, John Cage, Lee Mullican, Amy Sillman, Nancy Spero, Danh Vo, and Jack Whitten.

Breslin previously served as the associate director of the research and academic program as well as associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is currently collaborating with Whitney curator David Kiehl to organize the retrospective “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night,” which will open at the Whitney in 2018, and create the exhibition’s catalogue.

“I'm thrilled to be joining the Whitney at such an exciting and important time, shortly after the first anniversary of the museum’s move downtown,” Breslin said. “It is an honor to be able to work with this dynamic and growing collection and help convey the diverse histories and possibilities of American art.”