Raphaela Platow Named Director of Speed Art Museum

June 16th, 2021

Louisville, Kentucky’s Speed Art Museum has chosen what Raphaela Platow as its next director. Platow, who since 2007 has served as director and chief curator of Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center—which under her leadership saw its budget double and attendance increase by 400 percent—will assume her new role later this summer.

“The Speed is a renowned, encyclopedic art museum with a robust commitment to contemporary art and deep investment in the Louisville community and the region,” said Platow in a statement. “I am delighted to join the Speed team, working alongside the staff and board to build on the work they have been doing, and to ensure it remains a welcoming, inclusive, and highly dynamic space where art, creativity, dialogue, and reflection are the centerpiece.”

At Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, Platow oversaw the 2015 renovation of the building’s Zaha Hadid–designed lobby and in 2016 successfully helmed a campaign to offer museum admission free of charge. Before coming to Cincinnati, the German-born Platow served as chief curator and acting director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University; prior to that, she worked at the Kunstforum Munich and Projektraum Berlin.

“In addition to her nearly two decades of museum leadership, Raphaela brings to the Speed a deep passion for and knowledge of the art and culture of our region, and a proven commitment to accessibility and inclusion,” said Roger Cude, who chairs the museum’s board of trustees. “It’s clear from her accomplishments in Cincinnati that Raphaela is uniquely equipped with the experience, skills, and vision to lead the museum into the future, ensuring that it remains a dynamic, welcoming destination for diverse visitors of all walks of life.”

Platow replaces current director Stephen Reily, who last fall announced his intention to step down this past spring, but stayed on to oversee “Promise, Witness, Remembrance.” Opened in April, the exhibition pays tribute to Louisville police shooting victim Breonna Taylor and was curated by Allison Glenn at Reily’s invitation.