Whitney curator Jane Panetta moves uptown to the Met

Jane Panetta. Photo: Kevin Lu

Jane Panetta, a long-serving curator at the Whitney Museum, has announced that she will decamp to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she will be a curator in the department of modern and contemporary art. Panetta has been at the Whitney since 2010, curating solo exhibitions of Juan Antonio Olivares and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, among others, and has been director of the collection since 2019. That year, she cocurated the Whitney Biennial with Rujeko Hockleye, an exhibition that proved controversial once an open letter was published calling for Whitney board member Warren Kanders to resign. She was also part of the curatorial team for America Is Hard to See, the inaugural exhibition when the Whitney moved to its downtown location in 2015.

Panetta will be the second Whitney curator to depart for the Met in the past two years. David Breslin, who was promoted with Panetta in 2019 – he became director of curatorial initiatives and Panetta took over his job as director of the collection – has been the head of the modern and contemporary art department at the Met since 2022. The uptown museum is currently building a new wing for its modern and contemporary department, designed by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo. The project will encompass a full reimagining of the current modern and contemporary galleries, creating 80,000 square feet of galleries and public space. The cost of the renovation is estimated to be $500 million, much of which will be funded by a massive $125 million gift from collectors Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang. The new wing will be named after them.

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