Poet, Playwright, and Essayist Claudia Rankine Elected to Board of Trustees

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Board of Trustees announces today, effective as of November 1, the election of current Trustee J. Tomilson Hill to Chair of the Guggenheim Board of Trustees, succeeding William L. Mack who is being elected to Chair Emeritus after 16 years of service. At an October 4 meeting, the Board confirmed this leadership transition and also elected poet, playwright, and essayist Claudia Rankine as a member of the Board of Trustees.

“It has been an immense honor to serve the Guggenheim as Chair over the last 16 years and I couldn’t be more pleased to see Tom stepping into this leadership role,” said Mack. “I am incredibly proud to have supported the foundation as we expanded our international presence, brought groundbreaking exhibitions and new artists’ voices to the museum, and continued to engage our audiences through innovative and exciting initiatives. I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue to be a trustee, working closely with Tom, and to welcome Claudia, and collaborate with our colleagues on the Board in the years to come.”

Hill said “it is an honor to take on this role at a time when institutions everywhere are undergoing great change. The Guggenheim is uniquely positioned for this moment, as it engages with audiences on both a local and international scale, championing the next generation of artists and leaders within the arts,” said Hill. “I am particularly interested in broadening access to arts education, especially for teens, and I look forward to integrating this work into my broader responsibilities as Chair. I am excited to continue my work with our Board President Wendy Fisher, Richard, and the trustees. I’d like to thank Bill for his many years of service to the Guggenheim and am very glad to welcome Claudia, whose engagement with international institutions to facilitate exhibitions and programs around issues of equity will be incredibly valuable.”

Rankine stated, “It’s truly an honor to be joining the Board of Trustees, serving a museum that has done so much for the advancement of both literary and visual culture. It is with great anticipation and excitement that I enter into the Guggenheim’s conversations in service of artists, writers, and community.”

“Bill’s service to the Board over the past 16 years has been essential to the growth and success of the museum and foundation. His tireless dedication to advancing the Guggenheim’s mission and vision, both within New York City and through our international constellation in Bilbao and Venice, and in Abu Dhabi, has been nothing short of inspirational” said Wendy Fisher, President, Board of Trustees, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. “I am looking forward to working alongside Tom, who not only brings his extensive leadership experience to this position, but also shares my great passion for art and its transformative power to build bridges and forge connections. We are also thrilled to welcome Claudia as a trustee. She has been a longtime friend of and collaborator with the Guggenheim. Her brilliant work as a literary artist will undoubtedly enrich and inspire our work at the Board level.”

“I am grateful to Bill for his leadership and sustained support of the Guggenheim,” said Richard Armstrong Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “I anticipate working with Tom in his new role as board Chair, his business acumen, dedication to philanthropy and passion for the Guggenheim mission strongly recommend him. We also extend a warm welcome to Claudia, a visionary writer, thinker, and teacher, who will be a significant asset to the Board.”

About J. Tomilson Hill

J. Tomilson Hill joined the Board in 2019 and is a founding member of the Guggenheim International Director’s Council. In 2019, he and his wife, Janine, opened the New York City-based Hill Art Foundation, a public exhibition and education space presenting rotating exhibitions and ongoing arts education programs. Earlier this year the Hill Art Foundation provided a major grant to expand the Guggenheim Teens internship program. Hill is a private investor whose career has spanned both investment banking and the asset management business over the last five decades. He is an experienced leader in both business and philanthropy. After serving as co-President and co-CEO of Lehman Brothers from 1990 to 1993, Mr. Hill joined the Blackstone Group as a General Partner and Member of the Management Committee and served as President and CEO of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management for 18 years. From March 2007 to the end of 2018, Mr. Hill was the Vice Chairman of Blackstone and served as a member of the Board of Directors. In March 2021, Mr. Hill was named chairman of the private investment business for Two Sigma, covering the firm’s three private equity and venture capital units. Mr. Hill is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations where he is Chairman Emeritus of the Investment Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center Theater, where he is Chairman Emeritus. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, and currently serves on the Investment Committee of the Smithsonian Institution and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He also serves on the Board of the Telluride Foundation, the Advantage Testing Foundation, the Friends of the High Line, and Our Lady Queen of Angels School, a parochial school (K–8th grade) in Spanish Harlem. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Christie’s and a member of the Board of Directors of First Eagle Investment Management, Hamilton Insurance Group, Advantage Testing, and Crux Informatics.

About William L. Mack

William L. Mack joined the Board of Trustees of the Guggenheim in 2003 and has served as Chair of the Board for 16 years. He is a real estate investor and founded Mack Real Estate Group with his two sons, specializing in domestic and international real estate development opportunities and the property management of the company’s commercial assets. Prior to launching Mack Real Estate Group, Mack was the Founder and Chairman of AREA Property Partners (formerly Apollo Real Estate Advisors). He is President and CEO of the Mack Organization, a national owner, investor, and developer of warehouse and retail facilities. Mr. Mack is a former Director of Florida Community Bank, a Director of Hudson’s Bay Company, and a former member of the Regional Advisory Board of JP Morgan Chase. Mr. Mack is a past Director of Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation, Wyndham International, the Bear Stearns Companies, Vail Resorts, and the Empire State Development Corporation. Among Mr. Mack’s philanthropic and civic affiliations are: Northwell Health, Vice Chairman and Honorary Chair of the Board; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, former Vice Chair and Trustee Emeritus; The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, former Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Overseers; UJA-Federation of New York, former Director; and New York’s Empire State Development, former Director.

About Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine is the author of five books of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric; three plays, including Help, which premiered in March 2020 (The Shed, New York), and The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, Massachusetts) and was published by Graywolf Press in 2019; and numerous video collaborations. Her recent collection of essays, Just Us: An American Conversation, was published by Graywolf Press in 2020. She is also the coeditor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, Rankine cofounded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII), a group of writers, artists, activists, and thinkers that collaborates with both US-based and international institutions to curate events and exhibitions that engage the subject of race. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Library of Congress’s Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’s Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Rankine is a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor of creative writing at New York University.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The international constellation of museums comprises the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. An architectural icon and “temple of spirit” where radical art and architecture meet, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is among a group of eight Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the United States recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To learn more about the museum and the Guggenheim’s activities around the world, visit guggenheim.org.