Elizabeth Sackler Elected First Woman Board Chair of Brooklyn Museum

Elizabeth A. Sackler. Photo by Joan Roth . Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

Elizabeth A. Sackler is the first woman Board Chair of Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Joan Roth. Image: Brooklyn Museum


Dr. Elizabeth A. Sackler is the first woman in the nearly 200-year history of the Brooklyn Museum to serve as Board Chair.

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – Elizabeth A. Sackler has been elected Brooklyn Museum’s  Board Chair by Members of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Sackler, a Board member since 2000, is the first woman in the nearly 200-year history of the Museum to serve in that position. Dr. Sackler succeeds retiring chair John S. Tamagni, who has served as Chair since 2011 and will continue to serve as an active Board member.

Dr. Sackler, who is the founder of the Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, could not hide her appreciation: “It is a privilege, and I thank the Museum’s leadership, for electing me as Chair of this venerable institution. I look forward to adding to the accomplishments of all my predecessors. The Brooklyn Museum has had an exceptional period of programmatic and capital growth, and our mission is essential to our City as a dynamic resource for all New Yorkers and its visitors. Over the last decade, we have created generous and lively experiences for visitors of all ages and backgrounds and provided communities with the pleasures of our important permanent collections, educational activities, and public programming. As this is a museum for all people, I am proud to be the first woman to Chair the Board of Trustees.”

John S. Tamagni, the outgoing Chair praised the election of Dr. Sackler, describing her as a dedicated and vigorous person. “Since Elizabeth Sackler first joined the Board, she has been one of our most dedicated and dynamic members and has demonstrated a remarkable understanding of the Museum’s strengths and challenges and an in-depth knowledge about the functioning of museums. Her leadership, vision, and generosity in founding the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and the gift of one of its key components, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, were instrumental in establishing the Museum as the center for feminist art in the nation. Elizabeth is exceptionally well qualified to take the helm of the Brooklyn Museum and to lead it into the future,” he said.

Election of First Woman Board Chair is a Milestone

While the election is a mmilestonestone the Dr.  Sackler’s career, for many who know her, it was not unexpected. Dr.  Sackler has through the years devoted herself to the art and the role of women in art. Aside from founding the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, she is also sitting on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Dr.  Sackler is a public historian, arts activist, and American Indian advocate, who has fought relentlessly for the better treatment and recognition for American Indians and people of color. A “Passionate Advocate of the Arts”, she has received numerous awards, the most recent was from the Association of American Indian Affairs in 2013.

Elated by the election of Dr. Sackler, Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman said, “I am delighted that our dear friend, long-time Board member, and enthusiastic supporter Elizabeth Sackler will take on the role of Board Chair. Her expertise, passion, and dedication make her superbly qualified to assume leadership of the Brooklyn Museum. We are all immensely grateful to Jack Tamagni and thank him for his superb leadership and support. He has been an insightful mentor to me and a great friend.”

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