THE NEW MUSEUM IN NEW YORK announced today that Isolde Brielmaier has been named deputy director. Brielmaier brings more than two decades of museum, academic, and private sector experience to the New Museum. She is currently serving as curator at large at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York. Her new appointment is effective Sept. 1.

“Isolde possesses a truly unique combination of talents, affinities, and experience. These qualities coupled her with her sound judgement and understanding of the many complexities facing our field, will serve the New Museum well in its next chapter,” New Museum Director Lisa Phillips said in a statement.”

“She is a great team player with a powerful collaborative spirit and a deep interest and commitment to the New Museum. We are honored and delighted that she is stepping into the role of Deputy Director as our wonderful colleague Karen Wong departs for new pursuits.”


Isolde Brielmaier is joining the New Museum in New York as deputy director on Sept. 1, 2021. | Photo by Quil Lemons


Brielmaier, who has served on he New Museum’s board since 2016, is joining the institution’s executive ranks. She will oversee external affairs and marketing and communications, including media partnerships, publications, and visitor experience, as well as NEW INC., the museum’s cultural incubator dedicated to art, design, and technology. As a member of the leadership team, Brielmaier will also play a key role in policy and strategy decisions as the museum restarts its post-pandemic public programming and outreach and moves forward with expansion plans.

At ICP, Brielmaier curated “Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good,” the first U.S. solo exhibition of rising photographer Tyler Mitchell. Previously, she served as chief curator of exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Ga., and has also held curatorial roles at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York City and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Spring, N.Y.

For six years, Brielmaier was executive director and curator of Arts, Culture, and Community for Westfield World Trade Center. She was also a curatorial and strategic consultant for Prospect 3 in New Orleans. More recently, she worked with artist and architect Suchi Reddy on the first AI-based artist commission from Amazon Web Services. Reddy’s site-specific installation, “me + you,” will be on view at the Smithsonian this fall, as part of its “Futures” exhibition celebrating the institution’s 175th anniversary.

Brielmaier is an assistant professor of critical studies at New York University’s Tisch School in the Department of Photography, Imaging, and Emerging Media. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University.

“Isolde possesses a truly unique combination of talents, affinities, and experience. These qualities coupled her with her sound judgement and understanding of the many complexities facing our field, will serve the New Museum well in its next chapter.” — New Museum Director Lisa Phillips

At the New Museum, Brielmaier is succeeding Karen Wong, who first joined the museum in 2006. Wong served as deputy director for nine years and will continue to be associated with the institution as a creative consultant.

Established in 1977, the New Museum opened in its current location on the Bowery in 2007. Over the years, the museum has featured notable exhibitions dedicated to Black artists.

Guest-curated by Lowery Stokes Sims, “Robert Colescott: A Retrospective” was presented in 1989. “Chris Ofili: Night and Day” was the British artist’s first major survey museum exhibition in the United States. The museum also hosted the first solo museum exhibitions in New York of Ellen Gallagher (2013), Diedrick Brackens (2019), and Jordan Casteel (2020-21).

In 2016, “Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room,” comprised a residency, exhibition, and extensive public programming at a critical point in the recognition of Leigh’s longstanding practice.

“Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” was presented earlier this year at the New Museum. Featuring an intergenerational slate of 37 artists, including Gallagher, Leigh, Dawoud Bey, Mark Bradford, Garrett Bradley, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Kerry James Marshall, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Cameron Rowland, Lorna Simpson, Henry Taylor, and Nari Ward, the exhibition was conceived by Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019). After his passing, Naomi Beckwith, Massimiliano Gioni, Glenn Ligon, and Mark Nash stepped up to organize and open the show. CT


FIND MORE about Isolde Brielmaier on her website


READ MORE Last October, the New York Times reported that current and former New Museum staff members complained about “unhealthy work conditions, low pay, low morale and incidents in which they say they were asked by museum leaders to act unethically.” The Times report led to the resignation of Seth Stolbun from the board of Rhizome, an art organization that focuses on digital art and culture that has been affiliated with the New Museum since 2003

FIND MORE The New Museum recently hired Salome Asega as director of NEW INC


Isolde Brielmaier wrote an introductory essay for Tyler Mitchell’s recent exhibition catalog “I Can Make You Feel Good.” Over the past dozen years or so, she has contributed to several other publications, including “Hugo McCloud: Painting” and “Wangechi Mutu: A Shady Promise,” as well as “Opener 26: Jeff Sonhouse — Slowmotion” and “José Parlá: Walls, Diaries, and Paintings.” Brielmaier also conducted an interview for a volume about Zwelethu Mthethwa and has written about Iona Rozeal Brown.


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