Doctor of Arts

Brooke Kamin Rapaport

May 29, 2022

Brooke Kamin Rapaport ’84, P’16, deputy director and chief curator of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, has long been devoted to increasing the public’s contact with and appreciation for art. Since 2013, through her extraordinary curation at Madison Square Park, she has exposed tens of thousands of people a day to provocative and engaging works of outdoor public art, which she sees as both an end in itself and a gateway to deeper public curiosity about and appreciation for the power of art more broadly. In 2019, Rapaport was commissioner and curator of the United States Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale with the exhibition Martin Puryear: Liberty / Libertà. She is the founder of the Public Art Consortium, a national coalition of museum, public art and sculpture park colleagues that meets yearly to consider collaborations for increasing sculpture’s visibility.

For Madison Square Park, Rapaport has commissioned public sculpture by artists including Diana Al­Hadid, Tony Cragg, Abigail DeVille, Leonardo Drew, Teresita Fernández, Maya Lin, Josiah McElheny, Iván Navarro, Giuseppe Penone, Martin Puryear and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Prior to joining the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Rapaport was a curator at The Jewish Museum of New York and the Brooklyn Museum. She organized many shows, notably including Houdini: Art and Magic (2010)—a major inter­ disciplinary exhibition on the life and enduring significance in visual culture and contemporary art of the magician and escape artist Harry Houdini—and The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend (2007).

A contributing editor and frequent writer for Sculpture magazine, Rapaport is a juror and moderator for competitions and discussions concerning contem­ porary art. She serves on several boards and has lectured at colleges, museums and art centers nationwide. After majoring in fine arts at Amherst, Rapaport was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Museum Studies at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and earned a master’s degree in art history from Rutgers University.

Hear Booke Kamin Rapaport’s talk, “Why Public Art?”