By CityLife Arts Correspondent
Ngaire Blankenberg has been named director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. A consultant for museums and cultural destinations around the world, Blankenberg brings rich experience finding innovative ways to connect cultural resources to new audiences and a deep commitment to co-reimagining the museums of the future, said the institute about its new recruit who started her duties on July 6, 2021.
Blankenberg, a member of the African diaspora, has a proven track record in the systemic transformation of museums and cultural spaces to become more inclusive and more engaged in the community and society around them.
“The National Museum of African Art embodies the Smithsonian’s mission to foster understanding, inspire dialogue and bring people together irrespective of language, culture or border,” said Lonnie Bunch, the Secretary of the Smithsonian. “Ngaire’s leadership and experience will be invaluable in using the museum’s unparalleled collections and scholarship of African Art to further our reach, diversify our audiences and have a more profound impact on the nation and world.”
“ I am so slow on the socials! But very proud and excited for this next journey. Thank you to all my Smithsonian colleagues for such a warm welcome already and a really special shout out to Acting Director Deborah Mack who has stepped in with such great leadership through these tricky past two years. Over the next few weeks we will be posting many new positions and I hope I can inspire you to apply or share. I am looking forward to building on the great work NMAFA already does to create a space that all of us- on the continent and the diaspora, our friends and our allies- can find joy, inspiration, comfort and belonging. #museumsarenotneutral,” Blankenberg said.