From left, Jennifer Quinn Gowey, Joan Agajanian Quinn, Alexandra Hedison and Amanda Quinn Oliva (Photo credit Alan Shaffer)

Gathering Celebrates Appointment of New Smithsonian Archives Director


BEVERLY HILLS — On May 21 , trustee Amanda Quinn Olivar hosted the Smithsonian Archives of American Art to celebrate the appointment of its new director Anne Helmreich.

The event was held at the home of Amanda’s twin sister, Jennifer Quinn Gowey, and brother-in-law Eric Gowey. The Beverly Hill home was featured in David Hockney’s 1968 painting American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) that is part of the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago.

The event was attended by Amanda and Jennifer’s mother Joan Agajanian Quinn, as well as many Los Angeles-based artists such as Chaz Bojórquez, Woods Davy, Laddie John Dill, Shepard Fairey, Jim Ganzer, Yolanda Gonzales, Alex Hedison, George Herms, Charles Hill, Pamela Smith Hudson, Andy Moses, Claudia Parducci, Astrid Preston, Joey Terrill, and Elyn Zimmerman. Approximately 100 people were in attendance.

Said Anne Helmreich: “The Archives of American Art has answers to vital questions about why art and artists matter. Our collections contain profound stories that will help future generations understand who we are and how we got here. As we look to the future, the Archives will continue to collect to reflect the breadth of the American experience and to develop innovative programming that connects with new audiences, powering future creativity.”

Added Amanda Quinn Olivar: “It was a privilege to welcome friends and family into my sister’s home to introduce our new director Anne Helmreich and to celebrate all the great work the Archives of American Art does in preserving artist’s stories in their own voices! I’ve been involved with the Archives for a few years. It means so much to me and has always been essential for my own research. The Archives is an outstanding resource, and I can’t wait for everyone to tap into what we have to offer!”

Helmreich is a widely published art historian, administrator, and educator. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she served as associate director of grants programming at the Getty Foundation, supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world, and previously as associate director of digital initiatives at the Getty Research Institute, both part of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Anne also brings her experience as a former dean, director of an interdisciplinary humanities center, and art history professor to further the mission of the Archives of American Art.

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The Smithsonian Archives of American Art collects, preserves, and makes available primary sources documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States. The Archives holds the papers of American art luminaries such as the Leo Castelli Gallery, Roy DeForest, Stanley and Elyse Grinstein, Frederick Hammersley, Nancy Holt, Rockwell Kent, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Roy Lichtenstein, Chiura Obata, Jackson Pollock, Leon Polk Smith, Robert Smithson, Alma Thomas, and Gloria Vanderbilt Whitney. The Archives of American Art is based in Washington, D.C. and has an office in New York, N.Y. Matthew Simms serves as the Gerald Bente Buck West Coast Collector for the Archives and is based in Long Beach, California. The Archives holds its annual gala in New York, N.Y. where it presents the Archives of American Art Medal to an artist and a philanthropist and the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence to an art historian. Both awards recognize individuals who have made transformative contributions in the field of American art.


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