All Press Releases for June 06, 2024

Marquis Who's Who Honors Wendell Walker for Expertise in Art Exhibition Design and Operations

Wendell Walker is noted for his entrepreneurial endeavors as the owner of Wendell Walker Design LLC

    NEW YORK, NY, June 06, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Wendell Walker has been recognized for inclusion in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Mr. Walker (born in Laurel, Mississippi in 1954) carved a distinguished career in exhibition design and museum operations that spanned over 45 years before retiring from a 20-year tenure as a deputy director at New York City's Museum of the Moving Image. Since then, he founded his own company, Wendell Walker Design LLC, in the city's East Village as the owner and director in 2021. Mr. Walker's firm specializes in providing design and management services for museums, galleries, and individuals.

Leveraging his many years of success, Mr. Walker's tenure at the Museum was marked by innovative exhibition designs that enhanced visitor engagement and experience. Previously, Mr. Walker was the Director of Operations and Exhibition Production at MoMA/P.S.1 between 2000 and 2001, where he oversaw exhibition design alongside the logistical and operational aspects of exhibitions.

Mr. Walker's career in exhibition design began as Wendell Walker Consulting in 1980. After a few years working in commercial galleries, he grew into a career as an exhibition designer and production wizard alongside collection care specialist and storage consultant for over two decades. He served as Art Consultant to The First Women's Bank from 1980 to 1985 where he designed and managed a broad range of exhibitions and events in the bank's gallery-like interior on 57th Street at Park Avenue in New York. Alongside this, he served as a designer and manager to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, where he designed and installed exhibitions and individual works in the Arch at Grand Army Plaza, the Boathouse, Lefferts Homestead, and occasionally in the park itself. He also served the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as a Project Consultant between 1982 and 1983. In this role, he created and managed a children's art competition in 25 developing countries as part of the UN's Water Decade campaign. His first Museum staff position was at The Studio Museum in Harlem where he served as Exhibition Designer and Preparator between 1984 and 1986, followed by a decade as Gallery Manager at New York University's Grey Art Gallery and Study Center. That was followed by Mr. Walker's only departure from the Museum world, when he served as the Vice President and Director of Operations at Sotheby's between 1996 and 1998, overseeing a large team of managers and registrars alongside a large labor force of unionized and temporary art and artifact handlers at the firm's New York headquarters and warehouses. His major projects there included The Duke and Duchess of Windsor installation, and Sue the T. rex that is now a major feature of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

A significant highlight of Mr. Walker's career was his role in designing the official US Exhibition at the São Paulo Bienal in 1989. It was curated by Kellie Jones and focused on the work of Martin Puryear, and Puryear won first prize. The praise Mr. Walker received for the installation he designed marked a pivotal moment in his career, leading to further opportunities and recognition, including what came to be a 30-year relationship with Museum of the Moving Image. That started immediately after the Bienal project with the design of the Museum's first temporary exhibition, "Shigeko Kubota Video Sculpture," that opened in 1991. Mr. Walker worked with the artist to create dramatic installations in what was raw space that had not previously been open to the public, and his relationship with the Museum grew from that project and continued throughout the 90s with a series of design consultancies before joining the museum's staff in 2001.

Alongside the São Paulo Bienal project, Mr. Walker's work at Grey Art Gallery continued with curator Donna DeSalvo, under the leadership of the late Thomas Sokolowski, on the development, design and installation of the landmark exhibition "Success is a Job in New York: The Early Art and Business of Andy Warhol," including an international tour of the exhibition from 1989-1992. This was followed by two more important exhibitions "Traditions/Tensions: Contemporary Art in Asia" and "Inside Out: New Chinese Art" that Mr. Walker designed for The Asia Society in 1996 and 1998. Both exhibitions were installed at multiple museums in New York at the same time, and Mr. Walker oversaw the overall design and coordination of the exhibition at all the sites and advised on the international tours that followed. He also designed and directed the installation of the first "Greater New York" exhibition in 2000 at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, involving all curators from the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 working together to create a landmark exhibition that included more than 140 artists and served as an important bridge in the relationship between the two institutions leading to the eventual creation of MoMA/PS1.

Mr. Walker has also overseen and managed several museum renovations and expansions, specifically with New York University's Grey Art Gallery, formerly located in NYU's Main Building on the east side of Washington Square Park. In 1995-96, Mr. Walker worked with the university's architect to re-design the galleries and offices, and his notable contribution was restoring the original floor from the former A. E. Gallatin's Gallery of Living Art as part of an overall renovation of the building where the Grey Art Gallery was housed. He also served as a consultant to The Studio Museum in Harlem to work with the museum's architectural firm and assure museum standards and assess the practical applications of the firm's proposals to create additional gallery space as well as a new auditorium in 1998-99. His most significant renovation/expansion project involved working closely with Museum of the Moving Image's founding director Rochelle Slovin to oversee the $68 million dollar renovation and expansion of the Museum's facilities that opened to praise in 2011.

Over the last decade at Museum of the Moving Image, Mr. Walker has worked closely with the Museum's Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs Barbara Miller overseeing the acquisition of more than 400 artifacts from the family of Jim Henson in 2013. Creating "The Jim Henson Exhibition" included management of the acquisition and restoration of the collection of original puppets, costumes, and props, alongside the design, construction, and installation of a permanent gallery at Museum of the Moving Image that opened in 2017. This was done concurrent with the design and management of a traveling version of the exhibition, "The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited," that Mr. Walker installed in 10 museums across the United States received praise in the press and record-breaking attendance at each venue.

Mr. Walker also was a significant member of the team from Museum of the Moving Image that created the exhibition "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The team included The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and he worked with the SITES team to design exhibition components and direct the first installation at Museum of the Moving Image that launched a national tour in 2014.

During Mr. Walker's final years at Museum of the Moving Image, he designed and directed the installations of several notable exhibitions including "Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception" (2014); "Mathew Weiner's Mad Men" (2015); "Martin Scorsese" (2016); and his final exhibition at the Museum, "Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey" (2021).

Mr. Walker's academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts with a major in fine arts, with a particular focus in anthropology and traditional African Art and African studies, from DePauw University in 1977. He also studied painting and African studies at Kalamazoo College in 1975 in preparation for a year abroad at the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana in 1975-76, which included a woodcarving apprenticeship with artist Nana Osei Bonsu. This was followed by French language studies at The Experiment in International Living in 1977 and Alliance Française New York in 1979. Mr. Walker has studied seven languages. These educational experiences have significantly contributed to his success by giving him a broad perspective on art and culture.

Mr. Walker is a professional member of the American Alliance of Museums. Beyond his professional endeavors, he has always been actively involved with several civic-minded organizations and artists. This started with his involvement in activities like a major Doctors Without Borders benefit organized by the Carnegie Institute in 1978, the Whitney Counterweight in 1981, the Cinque Gallery in the mid-80's, and the Visual AIDS including the first "Day Without Art" in 1989, and he continued after that through his work with individual artists and various non-profit arts organization. These engagements reflect Mr. Walker's commitment to leveraging his success for broader societal benefits.

About Marquis Who's Who®:
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America®, Marquis Who's Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Who's Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. The suite of Marquis® publications can be viewed at the official Marquis Who's Who® website,

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