Adam Weinberg

Weinberg is the director of the Whitney, where he's taken on the task of trying to expand the museum in the face of hostile neighbors, cranky trustees, and touchy staff members.

Weinberg grew up steeped in museum culture—his father was chairman of the Jewish Museum on Fifth Avenue. He majored in art history at Brandeis, won an NEA grant to work at the Toledo Museum of Art upon graduation in 1977, and joined the Walker Art Center in 1981. He spent nearly a decade there, rising to assistant curator. In 1989, he began his on and off relationship with the Whitney when he became director of its since-closed branch at the Equitable Center in Midtown and became senior curator in 1998 and was named the museum's director in 2003.

Weinberg took the reins at the Whitney during a tumultuous time—the museum had gone through four directors in the 14 years prior to his arrival. Weinberg is credited with calming things down inside the building and maintaining a cordial, stable relationship with the notoriously fickle board, which is chaired by Leonard Lauder. As director, the biggest issue Weinberg has had to contend with is the same one that's been vexing the Whitney for decades—expansion. Various proposals to expand its Marcel Breuer-designed flagship on Madison Avenue have been floated since the 1980s. In 2006, the institution finally won permission from the city to build a $200 million tower on the same block as its current building, with a bridge connecting the two structures. Irate neighbors and preservationists, however, filed suit to block the plan, and Weinberg and the Whitney, tired of battling with the neighborhood and daunted by the cost of the proposed addition, turned their attention to building a branch in the meatpacking district instead. [Image via Getty]