Date:   July 28, 2023
To:       The IFA Community
From:  Linda G. Mills, President, and Georgina Dopico, Interim Provost

We want to share with you the news that our colleague, Christine Poggi—who for the past six years has been the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts—has conveyed to us her plan to step down as director by the end of Academic Year 2023-24.

A scholar whose research has focused on the early twentieth-century European avant-gardes, the invention of collage and constructed sculpture, the rise of abstraction, and the relationship of art to emerging forms of labor, technology, and new media, as well as contemporary art, Chris continued to teach, conduct research, and advise students throughout her term as director.  

Even as the Institute confronted the challenges of the pandemic, Chris’ tenure was marked by a number of notable accomplishments, including the establishment of the Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Program, which allows the Institute to collaborate with local museums to train students with an interest in curatorial work. The endowment of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Travel Grant program permits MA students in Art History to view works of art and architecture on site throughout the world in the summer after their first year at the Institute. Another important endowment provides generous funding for public programming at the Institute, enabling it to offer a robust and varied program of talks, panel discussions, workshops, and other events that are free and open to the public. The creation of a new and unprecedented endowment of over $5M provides tuition support for MA students in art history. New collaborations with NYU Steinhardt musicians allow students to perform at the Institute during select weekends. Several new initiatives include the launch of Lapis: Journal of the Institute of Fine Arts (an online, open-access journal for graduate students and recent PhDs), and a series of workshops, including IFA Contemporary Asia and the Gender and Sexuality workshop.

Please join us in thanking Chris for her years of dedicated service to the Institute and the University and her contributions to the field, and in wishing her well in returning to the faculty and her scholarly pursuits.

The timing of Chris’ decision should enable us to have a successor in place by the time she steps down. We will be in touch again soon with news about the search for a successor.