Meet the National Gallery of Art’s New — First Female — Director

Kaywin Feldman, the new Director of the National Gallery of Art started on March 11, 2019.

One summer years ago, she and her college friends piled in a car to take a great American roadtrip to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit when it was here.  Now, Kaywin Feldman and her family have done a similar trip… though they’ll stay longer and see much more this time around.

As the sun streamed in to the National Gallery of Art’s East Building mezzanine, DCers met Feldman, the Gallery’s newest Director, at an informal tea on Tuesday afternoon.

Only the 5th Director in the Gallery’s 77 year history, Feldman is also the first female to hold the position.  She comes to the Capital City from a Directorship at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  And just two days on the job, Feldman’s love affair with the National Gallery is evident, though truthfully, it started in her youth.

“My first exposure to the galleries was in the 1970s,” she told those in attendance about her junior high years at a local high school.  “My French teacher brought us each year… bound and determined to show us that language wasn’t just about language; it was also about understanding a culture, its history, its art, its people.”

Now she follows in Earl A. (Rusty) Powell’s footsteps, Director from 1992 – 2019.

Of her agenda, she says it’s trifold and simple: get to know and appreciate the staff, the stakeholders, and above all, the collection.

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