Henry J. II Director, Yale University Art Gallery
Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director at the Yale University Art Gallery since 1998, is overseeing a major renovation and expansion of the Yale University Art Gallery’s exhibition, teaching, and collection facilities. One recent curatorial project, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, a collaboration of the Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, opened in November of 2008 and will remain on public view for the next 25 years at MASS MoCA. He is currently organizing Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photography, 1964-2009, which will begin an extensive tour of American and International museums in the fall of 2010.
As an artist, Reynolds has garnered numerous grants and awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and multiple NEA Art in Public Places project awards. He frequently collaborates with his wife, Suzanne Hellmuth. Their performances, installations, and photographs have been commissioned, exhibited, and collected in Japan, Australia, France, the Netherlands, and across the United States.
From 1973 to 1983, he was an associate professor and director of the graduate program at the Center for Experimental and Interdisciplinary Art at California State University at San Francisco and also a co-founder of New Langton Arts, one of San Francisco’s premier alternative artists’ spaces. From 1983 to 1989, he served as the executive director of the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), a multidisciplinary visual artists’ organization in Washington, D.C., which hosted the exhibition The Perfect Moment: Robert Mapplethorpe Photographs in 1989, one month after the show was abruptly cancelled by the Corcoran Gallery. Following his work at the WPA, he became the director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts and held the position until September 1998.
In this time of economic uncertainty, I feel it is essential for museums to share their resources as generously as possible. Museums aren’t meant to hoard their collections and expertise, and at the Yale University Art Gallery, my colleagues and I are making a concerted effort to reach out to sister institutions regionally and nationally to share our greatest assets more broadly. By making it easier for other museums to host our traveling exhibitions with reduced loan fees or by collaborating with these institutions to develop new exhibitions and publishing projects, audiences who might not otherwise get to encounter and enjoy artworks from our collection can see them in their own communities.
We are also developing more efficient methods for shipping and packing objects in order to make it easier and less expensive for individual or small groups of objects to be on view for active learning at other college and university art museums. Opportunities for living artists to come to Yale to create new artworks in residence are also being expanded. At our university teaching museum, admission is always free in order to encourage people from all walks of life to partake in visual culture, whether for a few minutes or a whole day at a time.