Glenn Lowry

Glenn Lowry has been director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, since 1995. His impact at the museum includes raising millions of dollars for renovations, establishing a Media and Performance Art curatorial department, and the merger with P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Away from the museum, Lowry also lectures, writes and supports various philanthropic initiatives. For him, art is unifying and diverse and an opportunity to understand values shared across the world.

Mood of Living Q&A

Mood of Living: How did you get your start in the art world?
Glenn Lowry: As a graduate student in art history, I worked part time as an assistant to Stuart Cary Welch, the curator of Islamic and Indian art at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. I was lucky enough to go on and become the curator of Asian art at The Rhode Island School of Design’s art museum. Serendipity then took me to the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary where I was the founding director.

MoL: What contribution do you hope to make in the artistic community?
GL: I hope to help make our field a more open and engaging one that embraces multiple points of view and multiple perspectives about modern and contemporary art.

MoL: What social impact do you hope to have on the world?
GL: I believe that the arts are central to any understanding of ourselves and hope that through the many programs we develop at The Museum of Modern Art, and through our affiliation with other museums, we can enable people of diverse backgrounds to gain a common understanding of our shared values.

I am on the board of the Mellon Foundation, which is devoted to supporting the arts, humanities, and higher education, my three primary areas of interest. I also enjoy being on the advisory committee of several other museums like the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the Istanbul Modern that enable me to share ideas with colleagues working from different perspectives and in different places around the globe.

MoL: How do you explore creativity outside your role at MOMA?
GL: I read as much as I can and I always try to have a couple of non-museum related projects to work on that give me a chance to think about issues outside my professional frame of reference.

MoL: What advice can you share with others who hope to pursue their passions?
GL: I believe that if you immerse yourself in what you really believe in, and if you pursue your interests with intensity and commitment then there is very little that you cannot do. And, if you really enjoy what you do it is almost certain you will end up doing it well.

Social Media

Twitter: @LowryGlenn
Website: MOMA


Glenn Lowry