Kelly Taxter stepped down as director of the Parrish Museum after less than a year in office. According to a letter sent to colleagues by Taxter earlier Wednesday and obtained by ARTnews, she wrote about the decision to leave which she had “deliberated and taken lightly”.
âThis is something that she has established with the board to be the right thing to do at this point,â said Parrish board chairwoman Mary E. Frank. ARTnews. She added that Taxter, starting with the museum after the Covid-19 shutdown, âbrought an entirely new vision for the museum, its programming and its reach. Thanks to her, we were able to broaden our horizons in terms of supporters. Citing young supporters like Larry Milstein, Frank said that Taxter “was attracting a new demographic, a younger group, and nurturing the next generation.” [of the board]. âLast summer’s fundraising gala was ‘a record,’ Frank said.
Taxter took office in March 2021. Former museum director Terrie Sultan resigned in June 2020, after 12 years of service. Taxter inherited from Sultan’s tenure a new 34,400-square-foot, 14-acre building by architects Herzog & de Meuron, completed in 2012. The museum was closed for coronavirus lockdown for part of 2020, to reopen in spring 2021 .
âThe Parrish,â Taxter added in his letter, âis an important cultural center in the East End that brings many communities together through its exhibitions and educational programs. There has been a lot of enthusiasm and energy around the institution since I started, and I thank the staff for their dedication and hard work during a busy and transitional period.
Contacted by ARTnews, Taxter did not comment further. Prior to joining the Parrish, Taxter was Barnett and Annalee Newman curator of contemporary art at the Jewish Museum in New York; previously she was co-owner of the Taxter & Spengemann Gallery, also in New York.
The Parrish was founded in 1897 and has over 3,000 works of art in its collection. It has a reputation for being both a museum for the local community and a summer destination for affluent New Yorkers in their Hamptons homes for the season, many of whom are regulars at the annual summer fundraising gala. of the museum. Over the past two years, during Covid-19, many New York galleries have opened outposts of the Hamptons, giving the region more of an art scene. Taxter told Bloomberg last May of this phenomenon: âI think Covid and the relocation of people [to the Hamptons]- created a new type of community, a more visible and more active community.
The Parrish’s search for a new director, Frank said, begins next month.