Press Release: Linda Norden Appointed New Director of James Gallery

Distinguished curator, writer, and art historian Linda Norden has been appointed Director of the Amie and Tony James Gallery at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  Most recently, Norden has been a Visiting Professor in the Department of Art at Yale University and Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies. From 1998 to 2006, she served as the first Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, where she was a dedicated advocate for the enhanced exhibition, publication, and acquisition of modern and contemporary art.  At the 2005 Venice Biennale, she was Commissioner for the U.S. Pavilion, where she curated, with Donna DeSalvo, a project with Ed Ruscha. She is currently serving as an advisor to the curatorial team of the 2008 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The gallery is a museum-quality space for the display of artwork in all media.  It has a distinguished history of exhibitions of the finest contemporary artists, as well as exhibitions that have presented the work of artists of previous generations in exciting new ways.  In the past year the gallery has received a naming gift, developed a new mission, begun to organize a high profile Board of Advisors and hired a dynamic new Director.  Under new leadership the gallery will generate an ambitious, experimental, mostly contemporary art program. Its mission is to catalyze and focus dialogue between the contemporary New York art worlds and the scholarly community of the Graduate Center faculty and student body. The first exhibition to be curated by Norden will be scheduled for next fall.  Meanwhile, exhibitions previously scheduled for this spring will continue as planned.

Now known as the James Gallery, the Art Gallery of the Graduate Center first opened in 2001, soon after the school moved to its then-new campus on Fifth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets. Housed in the former B. Altman Department store, the landmarked building's interior was redesigned for the Graduate Center by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates. The gallery's soaring windows create a dynamic relationship between the exhibitions and the street, reflecting a time when B. Altman's made window displays into an art, while now art itself has become the window displays. Curated up to this point by Art History Professor Emeritus Diane Kelder, the gallery has presented nearly 3 dozen exhibitions --- ranging from Goya to Graves, Piranesi to Picasso --- many of which received significant critical recognition.

As the James Gallery's first fulltime director, Norden will bring a fresh focus, emphasizing contemporary works.  Among the many exhibitions Norden has curated are Equal, That Is, to the Real Itself at the Marian Goodman Gallery (summer 2007) and the 2007 UK New Contemporaries. At the Harvard University Art Museums, her exhibitions included Extreme Connoisseurship, Nominally Figured, John Wesley: Love's Lust, and Landmark Pictures, with Ed Ruscha, Andreas Gursky, and the Bechers; a series of video essays with Bruce Jenkins; and collaborative projects with Sharon Lockhart, Tadashi Kawamata, Ike Ude, and, with Scott Rothkopf, Pierre Huyghe's 2004 film, This is not a time for dreaming.

Norden has written on Richard Artschwager, Amy Sillman, Robert Gober, Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Sharon Lockhart, Claes Oldenburg, Eva Hesse, Lucy Lippard, Roni Horn, Terry Winters, Robert Ryman, Dale Chihuly, and Pierre Huyghe. She is currently working on a monograph about the late Jason Rhoades. Between 1992 and 1998, Norden served as assistant professor and advisor to the newly developed Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, and she has also held posts at the MFA program at Columbia University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York (CUNY). An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs, as well as a number of master’s programs. Many of its faculty members are among the world’s leading scholars in their respective fields, and its alumni hold major positions in industry and government, as well as in academia. The Graduate Center is also home to twenty-nine interdisciplinary research centers and institutes focused on areas of compelling social, civic, cultural, and scientific concerns.  Located in a landmark Fifth Avenue building, the Graduate Center has become a vital part of New York City’s intellectual and cultural life with its extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events.  Further information on the Graduate Center and its programs can be found at

Submitted on: MAR 1, 2008

Category: Press Room