February 2023 Arts Watch

New leaders have been appointed at the National Portrait Gallery, Museum of African American History and Culture, Hindman Auctions and the Phillips Collection. Have an ArtsWatch tip? Email editorial@georgetowner.com with your arts news.  

National Portrait Gallery Announces New Director of History 

Michael Hussey has been named The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s new director of history, restorative history and research, effective December 5. Hussey was previously at the National Museum of the American Indian. He led the museum’s groundbreaking Native Knowledge 360-degree educational initiative. Now at the Portrait Gallery, he’ll set the historical framework within which the museum operates. He’s hoping to emphasize how individuals past and present shape our culture and history as a whole. “For me, history has always been about the stories of people’s lives, not the rote memorization of dates,” Hussey said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to be joining the National Portrait Gallery in giving voice to the multitude of American stories through words and art.”  

National Museum of African American History and Culture Names Deputy Director 

Michelle Commander has been named The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s deputy director. Commander most recently worked for The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as deputy director of research and strategic initiatives. Before that, she was the center’s associate director and curator of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery. Commander succeeded Kinshasha Holman Conwill, who retired in December after almost 20 years of service to the NMAAHC.  

Hindman Auctions Appoints New CEO 


Alyssa D. Quinlan has been promoted to the role of CEO of Hindman Auctions, bringing with her 25 years of experience in private banking, wealth management and fine art appraisals. While she served as Chief Business Development Officer for three years, Hindman increased annual sales by 43 percent. Last year, the company recorded its highest-ever annual sales total, expanding its presence to New York. Quinlan was appointed by Jay Krehbiel, who served as co-chairman and CEO of Hindman since 2018. He will transfer to a new role as Executive Chairman.  

Phillips Collection Announces New Director 

The Phillips Collection shared news that Dr. Jonathan P. Binstock has been appointed as the new Vradenburg Director and CEO. Binstock will begin his position on March 1. He was formerly the Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester in New York. He will succeed Dorothy Kosinski, who is stepping down after 15 years.  





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