Raicovich’s approach has radically shifted how the museum, and increasingly the broader art world, views the role and function of a cultural institution in the 21st century.
—American Craft Magazine, 2017
Laura Raicovich is President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum. The institution is recognized both for its intimate connection to local communities and some of the most engaging and groundbreaking exhibitions and public programs in the U.S.
An advocate of art as a tool for social change, Raicovich oversees an inviting and vital commons for art, ideas, and civic engagement in a stunning and newly expanded building located in the second largest park in New York City. She is responsible for an ambitious scope of projects, events, and public programs that together reflect the diversity of the borough, public life, and the museum’s commitment to celebrating difference and multiplicity.
Since arriving at the Museum in 2015, Raicovich has overseen a range of exhibitions, such as Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art, the artist’s first career survey; Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk, an exploration of the band’s punk ethics of resistance and roots in Queens; William Gropper: Bearing Witness, whose powerful political drawings made decades ago eerily reflect the issues of the day; and commissioned projects by noted artists Mickalene Thomas, Mariam Ghani, and Duke Riley. She has also initiated an exploration of new ideas in museum interpretation for all audiences led by the Museum’s robust education department, advocated for access as a lens through which to approach Museum operations, and renewed a profound commitment to the Museum’s closest neighbors via community organizing and public programming efforts.
In 2018, she will present and co-curate Mel Chin: All Over the Place (with Manon Slome and No Longer Empty), the first major presentation in New York City of conceptual artist Mel Chin in more than 20 years, which will spread across the Museum and multiple public sites in the city.
Prior to Queens Museum, Raicovich inaugurated Creative Time’s Global Initiatives, where she successfully expanded the organization’s international work, launched Creative Time Reports, and directed the organization’s annual conference on art and social justice. She arrived there after a decade at Dia Art Foundation, where she served as deputy director and was a key member of the senior team during a period of transformation for the institution that included the opening of Dia:Beacon. She was instrumental in creating and implementing the preservation strategies of Dia’s iconic site-specific artworks in the American West, Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970). Prior to Dia, she worked at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Public Art Fund, and New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
Raicovich lectures internationally and has organized numerous talks and programs, including a 2014-2015 seminar series at The New School’s Vera List Center, co-curated with Carin Kuoni, that addressed the challenges artists contend with in a globalized world, and was later anthologized in a book of essays, Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production (OR Books, 2017). She is also the author of At the Lightning Field (Coffee House Press, 2017) and A Diary of Mysterious Difficulties (Publication Studio, 2014).
She graduated from Swarthmore College and holds a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.
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