“Institutional thinking tells us to look very, very carefully before leaping—and such thinking virtually guarantees that we’ll never leap at all. As an antidote to this, my motto has been “Act first, think later – that way you might have something to think about.” (174)
In 1969, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City hired Marcia Tucker, as their first ever woman curator. Shortly after organizing an exhibition for the post-minimalist artist Richard Tuttle, the Whitney decided to terminate her after receiving dissatisfied reviews regarding the show’s conceptually perplexing style. A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York City Art World, edited by Liza Lou, focuses on Marcia Tucker’s persistent desire to challenge the traditional norms and role of the institution through her radical approach to exhibition-making. Her memoir is adorned with personal details of the curator’s private life while simultaneously providing an insightful perspective behind Marcia Tucker’s decision to open the New Museum of Contemporary Art shortly after being fired from the Whitney.
Recommended for any individual interested in curatorial practices, museum and institutional policies, or to simply learn more about the founder of the New Museum, and her relentless desire to push the boundaries of the New York City art world.
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– Nichole Seedes, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant