Guggenheim veteran to lead Wave Hill
Bronx, NY, June 16, 2015—Wave Hill announces the appointment of Karen Meyerhoff as President and Executive Director, effective immediately. Meyerhoff succeeds Claudia Bonn, who has led the 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Riverdale section of the Bronx for the past seven years.
Formerly a private estate, Wave Hill was a gift of the Perkins-Freeman families to the City of New York in 1965 and developed into a revered public garden over the next 40 years. In 2005, Wave Hill launched a two-year strategic planning effort that culminated in a blueprint for capital improvements and programmatic advancement. The first of such capital improvements was the renovation of Wave Hill House, which reopened to the public in the summer of 2013. Meyerhoff’s appointment comes as the institution completes its 50th anniversary year and prepares for its second strategic review.
“This is an exciting moment for Wave Hill and a great honor for me,” commented Meyerhoff. “The institution has already proven itself as both a respected horticultural leader and a significant cultural destination. Now, Wave Hill is poised for the next stage in its development. I am so pleased to have been chosen to help envision its future and to engage and expand the diverse range of visitors for whom Wave Hill can be a source of tranquility and inspiration.”
Most recently Managing Director for Business Development at the Guggenheim Museum, a department she established, Meyerhoff was previously the museum’s Director for Exhibitions, Collections & Design. During her tenure at the Guggenheim she played a key role in the museum’s expansion internationally, as well as putting in place a global infrastructure for managing programs. Prior to joining the Guggenheim in 1997, she spent nine years at the Museum of Modern Art and several at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her career as an arts executive has been distinguished by a naturally creative, energetic attitude that has proven especially effective in fostering long-term partnerships across a broad range of stakeholders.
“The search committee faced a challenging assignment in looking for a replacement for Claudia,” stated Board Co-Chair Sarah G. Gund, “but its choice was wholehearted and unanimous, and we could not be more confident that Karen will provide superb new leadership at this momentous point in our history. She is a careful listener with an open, creative mind, qualities that we prize for an institution as very special and multi-faceted as Wave Hill.”
Added Board Co-Chair Richard S. Zinman, “our recent celebration of Night Lights, the culmination of our golden anniversary celebrations, has demonstrated how successfully Claudia has integrated the organization, leaving it poised to mature and grow. Karen’s extraordinary talents as a seasoned leader, one who combines exceptional relationship-building with a sustained commitment to sound management, make her a wonderful choice for moving forward.”