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Pope.L, Jennifer Russell, and Rachel G. Wilf Join NYU Institute of Fine Arts’ Board of Trustees


The NYU Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees has announced the addition of three new members of the Institute’s Board of Trustees.

Marica Vilcek, chair of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce the addition of three new members of the Institute’s Board of Trustees. Pope.L, artist and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago; Jennifer Russell, former associate director for exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and alumna of the Institute; and Rachel G. Wilf, art historian and alumna of the Institute, join the Institute’s board, bringing a great wealth of knowledge and experience in the worlds of art and art history.

Pope.L is an artist and educator who disrupts social constructions of language, race, class, and masculinity through writing, performance, installation, painting and video. His interventionist works, taking up themes of justice, democracy, community, and consumption, are at once politically incisive and deliberately absurdist, bold, and leavened with humor. Pope.L is perhaps best known for his provocative performances, such as “ATM Piece,” and his decades-long series of crawls across New York City, commemorated in eRacism. For a recent project, Baile (Ball, 1916), Pope.L organized a collective 72-hour dance through the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, crossing neighborhoods marked by socioeconomic divisions. MOCA, Los Angeles hosted a ground-breaking solo show of recent work and earlier videos in 2015, including the work “Trinket,” which included the American flag with an extra star to symbolize democracy and industrial wind fans that caused the flag to self-shred over the duration of the exhibition. A site-specific sound piece, “Whispering Campaign,” and his ongoing “Skin Set” project appeared in Documenta 14 (2017) in both Athens and Kassel. As winner of the Bucksbaum Prize of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Pope.L will be the subject of a show at the Whitney Museum next year. Pope.L’s many prestigious awards and fellowships include a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol Foundation grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Creative Capital Foundation grant, and a Tiffany Foundation Award. He is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York and Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles. Pope.L is currently the director of undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts. Prior to this appointment, he was a lecturer of theater and rhetoric at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He earned his MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and his BA from Montclair State College.

Jennifer Russell is a distinguished museum professional who began her career in 1974 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she held a variety of positions, from assistant curator to associate director, until 1993. From 1993 to 1996, she served as associate director for administration at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 1996 to 2010, she served as senior deputy director for exhibitions and collections at The Museum of Modern Art. At MoMA, she was a member of the staff planning and design team for the 2004 expansion of the museum and oversaw the move of the collection to and from MoMA Queens. In 2010, she returned to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the role of associate director for exhibitions, a position she held until her retirement in June 2016. At The Metropolitan Museum, she supervised the museum’s entire roster of temporary exhibitions, gallery rotations, and outgoing loan shows, a program of some 40 exhibitions each year. In addition, she oversaw the museum’s international activities, collaborating with institutions worldwide on exhibitions and other special projects. Russell earned a BA in American Studies from Wellesley College and an MA in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Playwrights Realm, an organization that supports playwrights early in their careers.

Rachel G. Wilf is an alumna who received her MA from the Institute in 2013. She launched her career as an account manager at Gurr Johns, Inc., a London-headquartered art advisory company, followed by appointments at Haunch of Venison gallery and the New York-based art gallery Hauser & Wirth. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied art history and communications. Wilf sits on the board of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey, the Next Generation Committee of the Wilf Family Foundation, and the Education Committee of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. She is a current member of the ADAA Art Show Young Collectors Committee of the Henry Street Settlement and a former member of The Artist’s Council at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

“We are thrilled to welcome these three new members to the Institute’s Board of Trustees.  Collectively, they bring a vast range of professional talent and can offer valuable advice as we work to strengthen the Institute’s educational, research, and cultural mission,” said Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.

About the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU
Founded in 1932, the Institute of Fine Arts is a center of graduate training and research in art history, archaeology, and conservation. The Institute has a faculty unrivaled in the breadth and depth of its expertise and in the range of its adjunct lecturers from top museums, research institutes, and conservation studios. The Institute has conferred more than 2,700 degrees, and its alumni hold leadership roles as professors, curators, museum directors, archaeologists, conservators, critics, and institutional administrators throughout the U.S. and internationally.