Whitney Museum Curator Jane Panetta Heads to Met’s Modern and Contemporary Art Department

Jane Panetta, a curator at the Whitney Museum who organized the 2019 Whitney Biennial, will soon leave her post to become a curator in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s modern and contemporary art department.

She is the second Whitney curator to depart for the Met in the past two years, after David Breslin, who was named head of the modern and contemporary art department in 2022.

Both head to the Met as it prepares to significantly expand its modern and contemporary art offerings with a newly enlarged wing. With a $500 million price tag, the cost of the long-awaited expansion has delayed the project multiple times, and it now seems closer than ever to becoming a reality, with Frida Escobedo having been recently appointed as architect.

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At the Whitney, where Panetta also served as director of the collection, she worked on shows such as a 2021 Jennifer Packer survey and a 2017 exhibition of museum-owned paintings from the 1980s. She also curated a current presentation of monumental sculptures by Rose B. Simpson, as well as solo shows for Willa Nasatir, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and more.

She fills a post left vacant by Ian Alteveer, who headed to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston to chair the contemporary art department there.

The Met also announced on Tuesday it had brought on Destinee Filmore, a curatorial fellow at the Williams College Museum of Art, as an assistant curator.

“I’m beyond excited that Jane and Destinee will be joining The Met at such a crucial—and exciting—time for modern and contemporary art at the museum,” Breslin said in a statement. “Jane is a rigorous and beloved curator, equally adept at collaborating with living artists as she is framing historical collections for their past and contemporary resonances. Destinee is a rising star in our field, a thoughtful young scholar who thinks deeply about the complexity of art production in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century.”

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