New appointments at Museum of the City of New York

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New appointments at Museum of the City of New York
Leela Outcalt, courtesy of Museum of the City of New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Museum of the City of New York—the city’s storyteller for close to 100 years—announced the appointment of Leela Outcalt as its Director of Collections. Her role oversees the management of Museum’s 750,000 object collection, including overseeing rights and reproductions; the acquisition, installation, archiving, digitization and cataloging of works; and providing for the physical care and conservation of the collection, in addition to helping set the strategic priorities of the institution as part of the senior leadership. Additionally, MCNY has elevated Sean Corcoran to Senior Curator, Prints and Photographs; and brought Monxo López, formerly an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow with the Museum, for an Associate Curator appointment for the 2022 year. Both Corcoran and López will continue in their work organizing exhibitions for the Museum and providing thought leadership in the industry. All appointments are effective immediately.

Leela Outcalt comes to Museum of the City of New York from her role as Senior Collections Manager for the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a position she has held since 2013. She joined The Met in 2008, as part of the reinstallation of the Wing’s paintings galleries and period rooms. During her 13-year tenure, she contributed to major gallery renovations, milestone exhibitions, and oversaw important expansions in collecting areas. This included New York City-focused projects such as City of Memory: William Chappel’s Views of Early 19th-Century New York and the installation of the Worsham-Rockefeller dressing room (gifted to The Met by MCNY). Leela served as a leader of The Met’s Collections Care Group, working with colleagues across the institution to develop an inclusive forum for people who care for the collection. When the American Wing expanded to include Indigenous works, Outcalt continued this collaborative work by creating a working group to promote issues specific to caring for and presenting works created by Indigenous communities. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Reed College, Oregon, and an M.A. in Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, New York.

“Leela’s extensive background and experience will be a great addition to our team, and we’re thrilled to have her lead our Collections Department as we move towards our Centennial celebrations in 2023,” says Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director and President of the Museum of the City of New York. “As we’ve created crowdsourced collecting efforts, expanded our digital collections presence, received major gifts, and acquired new objects, Leela’s guidance will continue our innovative approach to preserving and sharing this City’s history.”

“The collection at MCNY is much like New York itself - impressive, varied and evolving,” says Leela Outcalt. “I feel privileged to care for this resource and ensure it’s used to tell the full range of stories needed to reflect this remarkable city.”

Sean Corcoran has been the Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York since 2006. He previously served as Assistant Curator of Photography at George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY and as an adjunct professor at Ryerson University. Over the years, He has organized a wide range of exhibitions including Pride: Photographs of Stonewall and Beyond; Voice of the Village: Fred W. McDarrah Photographs; In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend; Through A Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs; Hip Hop Revolution: Photographs by Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo and Martha Cooper; City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection; A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960; and currently on view, New York, New Music: 1980-1986. Sean’s work has been featured in a range of media outlets including The New York Times; Wall Street Journal; WNYC; Photograph Magazine; and he has been tapped as juror for high profile photography events and awards including International Center of Photography’s Infinity Awards, and the annual Photoville exhibition. He has written extensively on photography including essays for Elliott Erwitt: At Home and Around the World (Aperture), Stanley Kubrick: Through a Different Lens (Taschen), and Brooklyn: The City Within. Photographs by Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb (Aperture). Sean holds an MA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two young children.

Monxo López is an urban thinker, educator, and cartographer based in the South Bronx. An Associate Curator at Museum of the City of New York for the 2022 calendar year, Monxo previously taught Latinx Studies and political science at Hunter College; was a Mapping Fellow at the Design Trust for Public Spaces; and is regularly invited to lecture and collaborate in urban planning and community organizing courses. As a Mellon Fellow at MCNY, Monxo organized or assisted with several exhibitions including Puppets of New York, Who We Are: Visualizing NYC By The Numbers; and New York Responds: The First Six Months. He is also an activist for environmental and urban justice, as a founding member of South Bronx Unite; a founding member and board member of the Mott Haven/Port Morris Community Land Stewards, and a board member of the Cooper Square Community Land Trust. Monxo has been published in, LatinoRebels, and NACLA, among other media outlets; and his activist work has been profiled by The New York Times, UrbanOmnibus, and Corriere della Sera. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from CUNY’s Graduate Center, and an MA from Université Laval in Québec, Canada.

“Sean and Monxo have both been essential members of our team, with their creativity and contributions driving some of our most successful exhibitions during the pandemic,” says Sarah Henry, Robert A. and Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Museum of the City of New York. “Their talents are evident in our exhibition schedule as well as in the works MCNY has acquired. I’m so pleased to be able to recognize these contributions and continue to collaborate with them to tell the many diverse stories of New York City.”

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