Leonard A. Lauder Chairman for Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sheena Wagstaff leads The Met's work in Modern and Contemporary Art both at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Breuer. Since 2012, Wagstaff has initiated and directed the Met Breuer's international exhibition program, with a core program strand combining ancient and modern art – by taking its cue from The Met's encyclopedic collections. She is also responsible for building and expanding the collection culturally and geographically, working with her team of curators holding deep expertise and art historical experience in art from the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Wagstaff was previously Chief Curator of Tate Modern, London, where she initiated and led the program of Tate Modern exhibitions, Turbine Hall artist-commissions and contributed to the conceptual framework of Tate Collection installations. At the same time, she personally curated major retrospectives or mid-career surveys at Tate of Mona Hatoum, Edward Hopper, Jeff Wall, Juan Munoz and Roy Lichtenstein (the latter co-curated with the Art Institute of Chicago), and has been published and lectured widely. With the Tate Director, Sir Nicholas Serota, she worked directly with architects Herzog & de Meuron on the design for the new Tate Modern building, which opened to high acclaim in 2016.
Prior to joining Tate Modern, Wagstaff worked for several important institutions including Tate Britain, London; the Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. She is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York for which she was the first British curator invited to participate. In addition to self-organized exhibitions, she has overseen the intellectual and curatorial direction of more than 60 exhibitions throughout her career.
She has served on several professional and civic boards, including the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Museums Panel; Artists & Cities Founding Board, Pittsburgh; Board member of ICOM's CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) for nine years; a member of the Southwark Council Design Review Panel (London government advisory body for architecture), among others; she is currently a member of the Founding International Advisory Committee of Istanbul Modern, the US nominating committee for the Praemium Imperiale prize and is a member of the Professional Fine Arts Committee of Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies (FAPE).