Armory Show Director Nicole Berry to Depart Fair for Role at the Hammer Museum - The World News

Armory Show Director Nicole Berry to Depart Fair for Role at the Hammer Museum

Nicole Berry, the executive director of the Armory Show, will leave her role at the fair later this month. She will soon join the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as senior director for donor engagement.

Berry’s departure is the first major shake-up since the fair’s acquisition, along with that of Expo Chicago, by Frieze, which stages its own fairs in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Seoul. When the acquisition was announced last July, Frieze CEO Simon Fox said that the two fairs would retain their leadership structure and that the acquisition did not endanger the future of either fair, telling ARTnews, “The market is huge. The two can coexist very comfortably as they currently do. We think we can enhance what the Armory Show currently does.”

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 02: Chief Executive Officer of Frieze Simon Fox at the Frieze Seoul VIP Preview on September 02, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.  (Photo by Justin Shin/GA/ARTNews via Getty Images)

In a letter to exhibitors, Kristell Chadé, the executive director of fairs at Frieze, said that the search for a new director for the Armory Show is already underway. In the interim the Armory Show will be led by Chadé and Christine Messineo, Frieze’s director of Americas. (Applications for the 2024 edition of the Armory Show this fall have already closed.)

“We are grateful for Nicole’s contribution to The Armory Show over the last eight years, and wish her all the best in her new role,” Chadé wrote in her letter. “We thank her for all her hard work, which leaves us in good shape for the upcoming 2024 edition of the fair.”

Berry joined the Armory Show as deputy director in 2016 and was promoted to the role of executive director in 2017, shortly after the New York Times reported that the fair’s then-director Benjamin Genocchio had been accused of unwelcome touching by five women. Prior to joining the Armory Show, Berry had been deputy director of another art fair, Expo Chicago.

During her tenure leading the Armory Show, Berry has been important in transforming the look and feel of the fair, spearheading its move from the West Side Piers to the Javits Center and a date shift from early March to the first week in September.

“Since becoming Executive Director of The Armory Show, it has been my mission to improve the fair with each edition,” Berry said in a statement. “I am deeply proud of the accomplishments of our team and am grateful for the opportunities I have been provided. I wish the remarkable team and the extended Frieze network the best for this important milestone year and in the future.”

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