An interview of Susanne Ghez conducted 2011 Jan. 25 and 26, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at the Renaissance Society, in Chicago, Ill.
Ghez discusses her work for the Renaissance Society in Chicago; the Renaissance Society's involvement with European artists; taking risks; the importance of "programming first"; attention to Chicago area artists; a mix of local, national, and international programming; complementary programming with the Smart Museum of Art; audiences; the relationship between the Renaissance Center and the University of Chicago; installation issues; improved outreach to students; working on "Documenta 11," including the experience of co-curating with Okwui Enwezor and travelling to visit artists; exhibitions coming out of the "Documenta experience"; changes in curatorial practices; recommendations for aspiring curators; her retirement and succession plans; projects as an independent curator; art collectors in Chicago; serving on advisory committees; organizing thematic exhibitions; the importance of "belief" and "trust," and other topics. She recalls Anne Rorimer, Richard Flood, Buzz Spector, Katharine Lee Reid, James Coleman, Benjamin Buchloh, Ed Paschke, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Susanne Ghez (1937- ) is a museum director at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, Ill. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former executive director of iCI in New York, N.Y.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
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This interview is part of the Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project, funded by the A G Foundation.