Women Leaders: Kaywin Feldman, Director, National Gallery of Art

Our spring arts preview featured 20 women cultural leaders in Washington, D.C. We wanted to amplify their voices in our online newsletters, spotlighting each of them individually. Our Monday May 16 newsletter features Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art.

THE GEORGETOWNER: D.C. should have a “spring awakening” of sorts after 2 long years of Covid. What are you most looking forward to for your institution this season?

KAYWIN FELDMAN: We are delighted that in-person events are back! Our first in-person film program is April 2. The next exhibition to open is the landmark Afro-Atlantic Histories and in celebration we have dozens of free public programs. And then many more new exhibitions to follow. We have a great lineup coming for 2022. And the East Building skylight renovation project will be complete in June and the building will reopen with new acquisitions installed throughout the majestic (and light-filled!) I.M. Pei icon all summer long.

GEORGETOWNER: What led you to become a leader in your organization? Tell us a bit about your career trajectory and inspirations along the way?

KF: The National Gallery is the fourth museum that I have had the honor to lead. I have directed small, medium and large museums from the East coast to the West coast and from the South to the North. My professional background helps me in my current role to appreciate the needs and aspirations of the many art museums across the nation.  I have the privilege of being inspired every day by the collection, staff, and volunteers here at the National Gallery.

GEORGETOWNER: What are the biggest challenges for your organization?

KF: Our biggest challenges are probably the same as most others – moving from the crisis stance of the last two years into the “new normal”. We are trying to figure out how a new “hybrid world” works for the Gallery staff and for many of our public-facing activities, like lectures and seminars.

GEORGETOWNER: How do you feel being among the first women to lead an arts institution?

KF: I am proud to be the first woman director of the National Gallery and glad that I will be the last “first woman director” at the National Gallery of Art.

GEORGETOWNER: What are you most proud of accomplishing while serving in your position?

KF: I am proud of the agility, courage, and resilience of our team during the last two years and thrilled with the program that they have set in place to welcome our visitors back over the next year.

For more information on the National Gallery of Art go here.



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