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Arts & Culture

The Menil Collection Names A New Director

Rebecca Rabinow is a Houston native and the new director of The Menil Collection.


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headshot of Rebecca Rabinow
Rebecca Rabinow is the new director of The Menil Collection

This story has been updated.

When she worked as a volunteer at The Menil Collection after college in 1988, Rebecca Rabinow had no way of knowing she'd be returning nearly three decades later to run the place.

"Never in my wildest dreams. I can just end that statement right there," she said.

The Menil Collection just named Rabinow as its new director. She grew up in Houston, but has spent the past 26 years as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Part of her role will include overseeing the opening of The Menil Drawing Institute, scheduled for next year.

"And that is going to be an amazing addition to the Houston arts scene," Rabinow said. "So, it's an exciting moment to really think about the vision of its founders and how that translates as we move forward into the 21st century."

Rabinow replaces Josef Helfenstein, who left The Menil in December to become director of the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland.

The Menil's president of the board of trustees Janet Hobby says Rabinow is coming on board at the right time.

"We did our last strategic plan in 2006," she said. "So, it will be prime time when she gets in place and after she's settled to take another strategic plan on and evaluate how far we've come and where we want to head."

Rabinow's first day as The Menil's new director is set for July 11th. She's the fifth person to hold the post and the first woman.

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