2010-11-10 / Features

Museum Of The Moving Image Founding Director Slovin To Retire

Slovin is seen at the unveiling of the new expansion to the museum in August. Slovin is seen at the unveiling of the new expansion to the museum in August. Herbert S. Schlosser, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Museum of the Moving Image, has announced that the board has voted to accept the proposal of founding Director Rochelle Slovin to retire at the end of February 2011, following her completion of the major expansion-renovation project that she has overseen. The redesigned Museum of the Moving Image will open to the public on January 15, 2011.

Slovin’s retirement will come thirty years after she was named Executive Director of the not-for-profit Astoria Motion Picture and Television Foundation, in January 1981. Immediately after her appointment, she proposed creating the museum in a portion of the city-owned properties under the foundation’s supervision. In the years that followed, Slovin took her idea from proposal to reality developing the unprecedented concept for the museum, recruiting a highly respected staff, building an extraordinary collection of the material culture of film and television, designing and curating a core exhibition and managing the original architectural program.

After the Museum of the Moving Image opened in September 1988, Slovin continued to guide its evolution introducing digital media to the mission and organizing the first exhibition of video arcade games in any museum.

“Rochelle Slovin is one of the very few individuals who have created a major New York City museum from scratch and then guided it to maturity,” Schlosser stated. “Every aspect of Museum of the Moving Image bears her stamp, from its intellectual framework to its approach to serving its many constituencies to its remarkable new physical form. It is entirely in character that Shelly is choosing to retire only when she knows the Museum will at last be in precisely the shape she wants it to have.”

Schlosser also revealed that the board has voted unanimously to confirm Senior Deputy Director of Museum of the Moving Image Carl Goodman as director designate of the museum.

A native New Yorker, Slovin was educated at Cornell University and the Columbia Business School. She began her career in the 1960s as a performer in New York’s avant-garde theater, appearing often at La Mama and other off-off-Broadway venues. She entered New York City government in 1971, first working for the New York City Planning Commission and later for The Bronx Borough President. From 1976 to 1980, she was the director of the New York City CETA Artists Project, the largest publicly funded employment program for creative artists since the WPA.

In 1981, Slovin was named executive director of the Astoria Motion Picture and Television Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, that had been established in 1977 with the goal of restoring to productive use the historic Astoria Studio complex. Upon her appointment, she proposed creating the American Museum of the Moving Image in one of the buildings on the property. She went on to develop the plans for the Museum’s mission, collection, exhibitions, programs and architecture and raised the funds necessary for its construction and operation. She assembled a distinguished staff and Board of Trustees. She has directed the museum since its opening in September 1988.

“I have been greatly privileged to spend the major part of my career at Museum of the Moving Image, developing this unparalleled resource for the people of New York and the entire world. I also feel privileged to be able to choose this moment to retire, when I can hand on this Museum as a living legacy that I know will thrive far into the future,” Slovin said.

For more information, visit http://movingimage.us.

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