Welcomes Karen Levitov,
Curator of Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery
director of Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook
University, announced the appointment of Karen Levitov as
art gallery director of the 5,000 square foot Paul W.
Zuccaire Gallery, formerly University Art Gallery, located
on the first floor of Staller Center.
Alan Inkles noted,
“Ms. Levitov brings twelve years of professional experience
from The Jewish Museum in New York, NY, where she was a
curator and senior administrator.
Her experience will reinvigorate the fine arts here, and we
are delighted to have her join the Staller Center staff. We
were fortunate to have Rhonda Cooper as gallery director for
thirty years and congratulate her on her retirement.”
Highlights of Karen Levitov’s
career include working with the contemporary artist Kehinde
Wiley on a solo show of his monumental portraits, curating
an exhibition of Impressionist paintings by Camille Pissarro
drawn from New York collections, and organizing an
exhibition of modern masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso and
others, collected by the Cone Sisters of Baltimore in the
early twentieth century.
Ms. Levitov has published books
in conjunction with exhibitions, including New York:
Capital of Photography, Camille Pissarro: Impressions of
City and Country, and Collecting Matisse and Modern
Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore. “The biggest
thrill was getting to interview Matisse’s grandson Claude
Duthuit, who lived with Matisse as a child, for the Cone
Sisters book and audioguide. I’ve also enjoyed being
interviewed on NPR and public television, and making web
videos for my exhibitions,” she notes.
Ms. Levitov grew up in Nebraska
and completed an M.A. in Art History at University of
Wisconsin-Madison. She came to New York for the Ph.D.
program in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook
University and then joined the curatorial staff at The
When asked about her plans, Ms.
Levitov noted, “It’s exciting to work on the design of an
exhibition—seeing the art works come together in the space,
deciding where to place each piece,
making unexpected connections. That’s the moment when
individual works become an exhibition.”
“While I’ve organized a number
of historical shows, I really love working with contemporary
artists. It’s exciting to meet artists and to see what they
are working on. It inspires new ideas and connections. My
vision for the Zuccaire Gallery is to focus on new work by
living artists, including solo and group exhibitions. I’d
love to make full use of the Gallery’s beautiful, large
space with its double-height ceilings. Large-scale paintings
and drawings, sculptures, installations, video and new media
would all be fantastic in the space,” said Ms. Levitov.
University Art Gallery Director, Rhonda Cooper, is happily
retired after thirty years with the gallery.
The University Art Gallery
presented the work of professional artists, generations of
students, and esteemed faculty as a premier gallery under
Rhonda Cooper’s tutelage. Professional artist shows from
2000 on include Susan Shatter: Tracking the Terrain
(2003), Lucio Pozzi “Photoworks 1975-2004” (2004); Younhee
Paik: Ascending River (2005), Paumanok (2006),
Christa Erickson Prosthetic Memory, Bodies, Bits &
Devices (2007), Philip Pearlstein (2007), Elizabeth
Murray (2008) Stephanie Dinkins: This Land is My Land
and Funktified (2009), Mel Pekarsky: Things in the
Desert (2009), Humanitas: Images of India by
Fredric Roberts (2010) RE-NATURED: Cui Fei and Roy
Nicholson (2011) YOKO ONO IMAGINE PEACE Featuring John &
Yoko’s Year of Peace (2011); Larry Rivers: Collaborations
and Appropriations (2012).
About Paul W.
The Staller Center dedicated its
art gallery space with the new name of Paul W. Zuccaire
Gallery on April 4, 2013 in appreciation of the
generosity of Alice Zuccaire and the Paul W. Zuccaire
Foundation. The mission of the Paul W. Zuccaire Foundation
is to perpetuate the memory and the spirit of Paul W.
Zuccaire by the encouragement, promotion and support of the
arts, education, health, humanitarian and other related
activities through grants to not-for-profit institutions and
organizations. The Foundation was established in 1999 by
Estelle Zuccaire in loving memory of her husband.
Five Masters of Fine
Arts students will be exhibiting their work in the Paul W.
Zuccaire Gallery. The 2014 Masters of Fine Arts Thesis
Exhibition begins Tuesday, March 18 through Tuesday, April
15. For more information call (631) 632-7240.