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Brett Littman Appointed New Director of Noguchi Museum

The Board of Trustees of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum (The Noguchi Museum) today announced the appointment of Brett Littman, currently executive director of The Drawing Center, in New York, as the Museum’s new director. Mr. Littman, who will officially join the Museum in May, succeeds Jenny Dixon, who led the institution from April 2003 until her
retirement at the end of December 2017.

Malcolm C. Nolen, Chair of the Board of Trustees, says, “The Noguchi Museum Board of Trustees is delighted that Brett Littman will join us as the Museum’s sixth director. Brett, who
is a prominent and valued member of New York’s cultural community, will play a critically important role as we articulate and implement the next phase of the Museum’s development. I know that I speak for my fellow
trustees when I say how thrilled we are that Brett will bring his rich experience in both the everyday workings of a museum and the larger role that museums play in our society to his work at The Noguchi Museum.”

Mr. Littman adds, “I am deeply honored to become director of The Noguchi Museum. The Museum’s commitment to the fullness and multi-disciplinary aspects of Isamu Noguchi’s vision, to
his pacifism and his championing of workers rights and racial equality, to the City of New York, and to the international cultural creative community of which Noguchi was such an integral part is absolutely inspiring. There is truly no other place in New York like this museum and garden that
offers such a profound meditation on the impact of art on society. I am eager to begin work with the Board and staff to continue the Museum’s growth, outreach, and influence and look forward to building on the major transformations effected by the former director, Jenny Dixon.”

Littman, currently executive director of The Drawing Center, will join Museum on May 1, 2018.

Mr. Littman joins a museum poised to expand and diversify its audiences and public profile. He brings a great range and depth of experience to this task. In his ten-plus years at The Drawing Center, he presided over all aspects of the museum’s administration and programming, oversaw its $11 million capital campaign and building expansion, and curated numerous exhibitions, in addition to contributing articles and essays to museum catalogues and international periodicals.

Highlights of exhibitions he curated at The Drawing Center include Leon Golub: Live and Die Like a Lion?, which won the AICA Award in 2010 for Best Exhibition in a Non-Profit; Ferran Adria: Notes on Creativity; Louise Despont: Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture and Greta Grossman: Furniture and Lighting.

Prior to his tenure at The Drawing Center, Littman was deputy director of MoMA P.S.1, co-executive director of Dieu Donné Papermill, in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, and associate director of UrbanGlass, in Brooklyn. In 2017, Littman was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French government. He received his B.A. in philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.

About The Noguchi Museum
Founded in 1985 by Isamu Noguchi (1904–88), one of the leading sculptors and designers of the twentieth century, The Noguchi Museum was the first museum in America to be established, designed, and installed by a living artist to show his or her own work. Widely viewed as among the
artist’s greatest achievements, the Museum comprises ten indoor galleries in a converted factory building, as well as an internationally acclaimed outdoor sculpture garden. Since its founding, it has served as an international hub for Noguchi research and appreciation. In addition to housing the artist’s archives and the catalogue raisonné of his work, the Museum exhibits a comprehensive
selection of sculpture, models for public projects and gardens, dance sets, and his Akari light sculptures.

Provocative, frequently-changing installations drawn from the permanent collection, together with diverse special exhibitions related to Noguchi and the milieu in which he worked, offer a rich, contextualized view of Noguchi’s art and illuminate his enduring influence as a category-defying, multicultural, cross-disciplinary innovator.


Photo: Mari Juliano