Former Queens Museum director Laura Raicovich ‘misled the board’ before her resignation, an independent investigation found.
Raicovich resigned as director in late January, citing divergence between her vision for the institution and the direction favored by the board as the reason for stepping down. But her departure followed a saga that first unfolded last summer, when an event at the museum hosted by the State of Israel to celebrate its 70th anniversary was cancelled and then reinstated after a fair amount of outcry, including one councilman accusing Raicovich of anti-Semitism. The event was eventually held in November, with Vice President Mike Pence as an invited guest. The report, conducted by the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, found that Raicovich was staunchly opposed to hosting the event and received support from deputy director David Strauss, who was terminated from his position last month. The investigation, which was made public this week, also revealed that Raicovich had neglected to inform the board that she had edited a book of essays called “Assuming Boycott” that, as the New York Times said, “includes essays strongly supportive of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as B.D.S., which is highly critical of the State of Israel.” The report also found that Raicovich had, without first consulting the board, allowed the Queens Museum to be named as a “fiscal sponsor” for a Kickstarter campaign that raised funds for a cultural center on the West Bank. Raicovich flatly denied the characterizations in the report. “I did not mislead the board,” she told artnet News.