Mark Robbins, executive director of the International Center of Photography, is leaving November 15, the ICP board of trustees announced October 30. On the same day, the American Academy in Rome announced Robbins had been hired as its President and CEO, effective January 2014. Robbins became ICP executive director May 5, 2012, succeeding Willis “Buzz” Hartshorn, the director since 1994, who had resigned for health reasons. The International Center of Photography includes a photo school, museum, community programs.
In its statement announcing Robbins’ departure, Jeffrey A. Rosen, president of the Board of Trustees at ICP, said, “On behalf of the board, we thank Mark for his service to ICP, and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”
Debby Hirshman, the chief operating officer of ICP, told PDN she is serving as the acting director until a new executive director is hired. She said she has been in her role for two months; she had been a consultant to ICP since 2009. She said the search for a new executive director is “well underway” and the board of trustees is “already meeting with people and we hope to have a new executive director shortly.”
Hirshman declined to discuss what challenges the new executive director might face, whether or not the ICP museum and school will remain in its current location, and whether or not a new capital campaign will be conducted by the incoming executive director.
“I think people should feel that it’s an exciting time for ICP,” Hirshman said. As examples, she said that film director Oliver Stone is coming to give a public talk with ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis, who curated the show “Who Shot JFK?”; the exhibition “Roman Vishniac Revisited” which debuted at ICP is currently traveling and Shirin Neshat, the Iranian visual artist, will receive an award in January as part of ICP’s “Spotlight” events. Hirshman said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be the executive director of ICP.”
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