Press Release

Harry Philbrick to Lead The Fabric Workshop and Museum as Interim Executive Director

Portrait of Harry Philbrick Photo credit: M. Slater.

Philadelphia, PA, February 28, 2023— The Board of Directors of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is pleased to announce that Harry Philbrick has been appointed Interim Executive Director, effective March 1, 2023. Philbrick will replace Christina Vassallo, who will be leading Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center moving forward after three impactful years at FWM. Philbrick joins FWM after founding Philadelphia Contemporary in 2016 and serving as its Founding Director and CEO.

“Harry Philbrick’s diverse arts background and leadership in the Philadelphia arts community make him an excellent choice to guide FWM as we complete our strategic planning process and begin the process of searching for a permanent Executive Director,” says FWM Board President Maja Paumgarten Parker. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and are eager to see how his experience and creative approach will further the museum’s mission of providing a platform for contemporary artists to explore and expand their practice.”

During his leadership roles at Philadelphia Contemporary and previously at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philbrick spearheaded numerous initiatives that helped to bring contemporary art to a wider Philadelphia audience while bringing broader national attention to Philadelphia-based arts organizations. Until a permanent Executive Director is identified, Philbrick will provide a sense of continuity for FWM’s programs and operations while also contributing to the museum’s current strategic planning process.

“I am delighted to take on this role at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, an organization I have known and loved for decades,” said Philbrick. “I have worked with The Fabric Workshop before my time at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Philadelphia Contemporary and look forward to working again with such a talented and dedicated team of professionals. The Fabric Workshop has a rich history of supporting, presenting, and amplifying some of the most innovative and influential artists of our time. I’m excited to contribute towards advancing this mission.”

About Harry Philbrick

Philbrick founded Philadelphia Contemporary in 2016. Philadelphia Contemporary presents cross-disciplinary art that reflects the diversity and vitality of Philadelphia; it is based on a dynamic and sustainable model of collaboration and partnership. From 2011–2016 he was Director of the Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, known internationally for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American art. From 1996–2010, Philbrick was Director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, a non-collecting kunsthalle in Connecticut. He received his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Press Contact

For further information, images and interviews, please refer to the following contacts:

Max Kruger-Dull
Blue Medium, Inc.
Tel: +1-212-675-1800

Philadelphia-based inquiries:

Justin Rubich
FWM Communications
Tel: 215-561-888 x224

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Partners & Funding

Major support of FWM is provided by the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation. FWM receives state art funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support is provided by Agnes Gund and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.

About the Fabric Workshop and Museum

The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is an internationally acclaimed contemporary art museum devoted to the creation, presentation, and preservation of innovative works of art. Its mission—collaborating with artists, revealing new possibilities—embodies a 45-year commitment to helping artists experiment with the expressive possibilities of a broad spectrum of new materials and techniques. Through its renowned Artist-in-Residence Program, FWM provides artists at all stages of their careers with the opportunity to collaborate with its studio staff and take their work in fresh and often unexpected directions. FWM presents large-scale exhibitions, installations, and performative work, utilizing innovative fiber and other media including sculpture, installation, video, painting, photography, ceramics, and architecture. Founded in 1977, FWM brings this spirit of creative investigation and discovery to an eager audience, broadening access to art and advancing its role as a catalyst for innovation and social connection.