Alexandra Suda is named new director of National Gallery of Canada

Alexandra (Sasha) Suda, who is to develop into the National Gallery of Canada’s new director and CEO

Photography by Craig Boyko / Postmedia

When Alexandra Suda takes up her publish because the director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada in April, it is going to be a hanging promotion.

“I’m blazing trails, I think. I see that in some way,” Suda, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s 38-year-old curator of European artwork, advised this newspaper Wednesday.

Suda is to start a five-year time period heading the National Gallery on April 19. She would be the fourth girl to guide Canada’s prime artwork museum.


Suda succeeds Marc Mayer, who was the National Gallery’s 10th director and who left the place in mid-January after 10 years. Before coming to the National Gallery on the age of 52, Mayer had been the director of the Musée d’artwork contemporain de Montréal, and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, in addition to deputy director on the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.

Although Suda has no directorial expertise, Mayer expressed his confidence in her Wednesday when he tweeted: “Good news. Alexandra ‘Sasha’ Suda named new NGC Director and CEO. I can breathe again. And even smile! She’ll be great.”

“We are honoured and pleased to have Dr. Suda lead our team,” stated Françoise Lyon, chair of the National Gallery’s board of trustees.

“She is not only an internationally recognized curator who has organized award-winning exhibitions with record-breaking attendance, but she is also an engaging and inspirational leader and team builder who has collaborated with collectors, curators and other museum stakeholders throughout her career,” continued Lyon.

In 2016, Suda was chosen to take part within the Governor General’s Leadership Conference, which brings collectively Canada’s future leaders.

Suda stated that zeal and curiosity have sparked her drive to advance as a museum administrator, and that she intends to let her ardour for advocating for artwork shine by means of.

“I’ve always felt from the early days, there’s an urgency to the need for art. It’s not a ‘nice to have.’ It’s a ‘need to have,’” she stated.

“What’s good for art is good for Canada and for the world.”

Among her extra matter-of-fact priorities, she stated, can be hiring to fill two high-level positions on the National Gallery, these of chief curator and the top of the Canadian Photography Institute, which have had interim managers in place since departures final spring.

Suda, who in AGO supplies is extra also known as Sasha, was born in Orillia and raised in Toronto. After highschool, she was educated within the United States, and holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Suda’s first museum job was within the medieval division on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She joined the AGO in 2011 as its assistant curator of European artwork, and was promoted a number of instances to develop into the museum’s curator of European artwork and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Print & Drawing Council.

Suda stated that whereas the main focus of her profession has been European artwork, she is going to carry “no kind of European agenda” to her new place.

In 2009, when Mayer, a Franco-Ontarian initially from Sudbury, took over because the director, he inherited an establishment that was in turmoil as a result of high-level staffing squabbles.

Last month, in an exit interview with this newspaper, Mayer spoke of his accomplishments, together with bolstering the standing of Indigenous artwork, Canadian modern artwork and pictures on the National Gallery, overseeing in depth renovations to the constructing, and increasing the National Gallery’s world attain for modern artwork.

Mayer’s tenure was marked in its remaining yr by the National Gallery’s aborted try and promote its Marc Chagall portray La Tour Eiffel to fund one other acquisition.

Also, a February 2018 confidential inner survey of National Gallery workers discovered that not even one in 5 felt that senior administration made efficient and well timed selections.



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