[NEWS] Queens Museum Hires Leading Curator Lauren Haynes as Director of Curatorial Affairs

May 1, 2022

The Queens Museum is dedicated to presenting the highest quality visual arts and educational programming for people in the New York metropolitan area, and particularly for the residents of Queens, a uniquely diverse, ethnic, cultural, and international community. and also The Queens Museum presents artistic and educational programs and exhibitions that directly relate to the contemporary urban life of its constituents, while maintaining the highest standards of professional, intellectual, and ethical responsibility. The Queens Museum has hired Lauren Haynes to serve as its director of curatorial affairs and programs, a newly created senior leadership position at the New York institution. Haynes will start in her role in mid-July. 

In her new role, Haynes will manage the Queens Museum’s curatorial and programs departments, and work closely with the education department as part of a broader vision of integrating all of the museum’s activities into one team. The group of staff members will be known as the content team and will be overseen by Queens Museum executive director Sally Tallant. “The siloing of curatorial and education is something that we’re really working to collapse at the museum,” Tallant said in an interview. “It’s not just an exhibitions-focused role. It’ll be working with the team to make sure that everything we do makes sense, so whatever experience people are having of art—whether that’s through a school visit, a tour, visiting a major exhibition, or having a year-long residency as an artist—there will be a curatorial oversight to that.” Over the past 15 years, Haynes has established herself as a leading curator in the country. Known for her dedication to working closely with artists to build exhibition, she got her start at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she worked for almost a decade. At the Studio Museum, she organized acclaimed solo shows for Alma Thomas, Stanley Whitney, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and the Spiral collective, as well as an exhibition looking at the influence of Ebony and Jet magazines on contemporary artists.



Haynes’s focus on artists, which she termed “an ongoing conversation” about their practices and work, will be key to what the museum will offer on the horizon. Artist Sarah Cain worked with Haynes at the Momentary, right at the beginning of the pandemic. “Lauren is an artist-focused curator—she forefronts artists realizing their visions,” Cain said. “She has a deep breadth of knowledge of historically and contemporary art practices. Her ability to give artists room to flourish while also providing a place of inquisitive support is a rare gift for artists to receive.” Artist Jennie C. Jones, who has known Haynes for over a decade and contributed to the Alma Thomas publication for the Studio Museum exhibition, agreed. “Her warmth and brilliance is as contagious as her smile,” Jones said. “She puts artists first in thought and practice. Our dialogue over the years is grounded in our mutual investment in art history, particularly the exclusion of BIPOC artists (such as Thomas) in the shaping of contemporary abstraction.” 

Most important to Haynes is how the museum sits within the world and how it connects with those who come to see all it has to offer. “All of the museums that I’ve worked that for me have also been thinking about their particular audiences,” she said. “So for me, thinking about the audience of the Queens Museums: people who live in Queens, in the tristate area, in the world. How do we push those conversations and try to engage deeply with what maybe a core audience while growing other audiences.”




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