Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Announces Courtney J. Martin as New Executive Director

Visual Arts



New York, NY – February 8, 2024 – The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announced today that Courtney J. Martin has been appointed as its new Executive Director. Martin is currently the Paul Mellon Director of the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA), a position she has held since 2019, and will assume her new role later this Spring.

“Robert Rauschenberg was both a visionary artist and a person of great generosity of spirit. His extensive output has long inspired me as an art historian. The opportunity to lead the foundation that he envisioned is unparalleled. I particularly look forward to returning to working closely with and for artists, as well as expanding the Foundation’s dynamic philanthropic initiatives,” Martin explained.

Martin arrived at Yale following service as Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Dia Art Foundation. Her time at the YCBA saw her navigating the museum through the pandemic and its reopening, establishing the at home: Artists in Conversation and Architects in Conversation: To Build for Art series in the process. She oversaw several exhibitions there, including Bridget Riley: Perceptual Abstraction, Marc Quinn: History Painting +, and The Hilton Als Series: Njideka Akunyili Crosby which toured to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Her tenure at the YCBA also saw the establishment of a Henry Moore Foundation Artist in Residence program for a Yale School of Art student as well as a new joint postdoctoral fellowship with the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.

Martin earned her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College; and a Ph.D. in the history of art at Yale University, where she contributed to the YCBA’s award-winning 2007 exhibition, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica. Following those studies, she taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Vanderbilt University and Brown University, developing a wide range of notable exhibitions as well as publishing several books during this period. And before pursuing her doctorate, she worked in the media, arts, and culture unit of the Ford Foundation in New York City.

“Courtney’s extensive and varied institutional experience brings a valuable new perspective to the Foundation, and one that aligns perfectly with both our vision, ethos and of the multifaceted work that this role demands,” said Foundation President Christopher Rauschenberg, who continued, “We are all excited to work with her and we look forward to the growth, positive changes, and the new chapter that her leadership will usher in.”

“The Foundation is truly honored and indeed thrilled to welcome Courtney as its next Executive Director,” said Michael Straus, Board Chair. “She comes to the Foundation as a seasoned and highly respected leader, a brilliant scholar, and a creatively strategic thinker. And she joins us at a particularly vital moment. Over the past 5+ years, under Kathy Halbreich’s visionary leadership, the Foundation not only weathered many adverse impacts of the pandemic, but emerged both stronger and more cohesive. The Board, the staff and our gallery, museum and other friends and partners therefore all look forward to Courtney’s leadership in furthering the catalogue raisonné project; reopening and expanding the scope of the residency programs on Captiva Island; developing innovative opportunities to present Bob’s works in the world; expanding our already vigorous philanthropy initiatives; and focusing on creative ways to celebrate the artist’s centennial in 2025.”

About The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation builds on the legacy of Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) who believed strongly that creative practitioners could serve as catalysts for social change. He enthusiastically embraced chance and the everyday and was an eager and gifted collaborator, breaking disciplinary boundaries by experimenting with scientists, performers, and visual artists. As such, we celebrate new and even untested ways of thinking and acting.

The Foundation maintains residencies for artists and scholars in Captiva, Florida, and in its New York archives, and operates a philanthropic program that supports small to midsize arts and socially engaged organizations that are experimental in approach and drive towards equity.

Additionally, it promotes in-depth research and partnerships for staff, curators, critics, scholars, and students that open the artist’s life and work to wider interpretation and understanding, and supports exhibitions, publications, and special projects across the globe that reflect Rauschenberg’s joyful, responsive, and irreverent approach to making art while living an empathetic and meaningful life.


Photo Credit: Mara Lavitt

Media Contacts: 
For quotes, further background and images, please contact:

Katrina Stewart or Andy Cushman
Blue Medium
Tel: +1-212-675-1800 or