Anne Pasternak

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Anne Pasternak
Alma materUniversity of Massachusetts, Amherst, Hunter College
OccupationMuseum director, curator, art critic
OrganizationBrooklyn Museum, Creative Time, Real Art Ways
Known forDirector of the Brooklyn Museum

Anne Pasternak (born 1964) is a curator and museum director. She is the current Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum.


Pasternak was born in Baltimore and received her undergraduate degree in Art History and Business Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She went on to take graduate courses at Hunter College but left without taking a degree.

Pasternak has been awarded honorary doctorates from Pratt Institute[1] and Hunter College[2]


Pasternak's career began with an internship turned directorship at the Stux Gallery in Boston in the 1980s. She then served as Curator at Real Art Ways, an arts nonprofit in Hartford, Connecticut. She curated public art projects with such now acclaimed artists as Mel Chin and Mark Dion as well as the groundbreaking exhibition "Hip Hop Nation".

Creative Time[edit]

In 1993 Anne Pasternak left Real Art Ways and became the Executive Director of Creative Time. There she curated and organized numerous exhibitions, events, discussions, and public art projects including the annual "Tribute In Light" memorial honoring the lives lost on September 11, 2001; Paul Chan's Waiting for Godot in Post-Katrina New Orleans, and Kara Walker's A Subtlety in Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Factory in the Williamsburg neighborhood.[3]

Brooklyn Museum[edit]

In 2015, Pasternak left Creative Time and replaced Arnold L. Lehman as the director of the Brooklyn Museum.[4] Pasternak's directorship at the Brooklyn Museum marks the first time a woman has kept a directing role in an encyclopedic New York museum.[5] As a former director of a public art organization, this new position represents a shift in her career from a broader public sphere into the architecture of a museum.[5]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

  • Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia, 2018[6]
  • Crains 50 Most Powerful Women in New York, 2019[7]


Since becoming director, two prominent Brooklyn Museum chief curators have left; each staying less than a year—Nancy Spector[8] and Jennifer Y. Chi[9]

Recent community protests have brought up the issue of diversity in hiring at the Brooklyn Museum[10], and Pasternak has faced issues pertaining to community relations[11]. Pasternak has also taken strong political positions on current topics such as the #metoo movement[12]


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  3. ^ "Projects - Creative Time Projects and Artist Commissions". Creative Time. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  4. ^ Smith, Roberta. "Brooklyn Museum chooses Anne Pasternak as New Director". New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Roberta (2015-05-19). "Brooklyn Museum Picks Anne Pasternak as New Director". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
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