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SNAG Celebrates: Lisa Koenigsberg


SNAG celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 and is honoring its membership by highlighting different people on the SNAG website.


Lisa Koenigsberg

Please introduce yourself.
I am Lisa Koenigsberg and I’m the founder and President of Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC). My own areas of expertise would be the history of American art and culture, with a deep commitment to contemporary jewelers and metalsmiths both here and abroad. My focus is on visual culture and all the projects we undertake have a dual commitment.

Our conferences explore visual culture and champion individuals, institutions, and organizations in varied media and materials. We bring together makers, growers, miners, retailers, journalists, financiers, regulators, and environmentalists both to trace the ties that bind individuals and communities along the continuum from extraction through fabrication to sale or investment using a cross-disciplinary approach, and to illumine the importance of each link in these remarkable chains.

Respect for materials, craft, and authentic expression are at the core for us. We’re particularly concerned with ethical practice and responsible sourcing, whether in textiles, gemstones, or precious metals, as in the annual International Gold Conference.

IAC crowd

How did Initiatives in Art and Culture begin and how has the organization progressed or changed over the years? Can you tell our membership about what your position with the IAC entails and what the goals of the organization are?
When I was at NYU as Director of Programs in the Arts, I had developed a variety of annual multidisciplinary conferences. After watching the launch and development of a number of these programs, my then dean suggested that that this was a significant body of work which should exist as a separate organization. Fifteen years ago, I founded IAC with his help. We focus on visual culture, heritage and preservation—we bring together every sector or discipline under consideration. My goal has always been to bring together cutting-edge authorities, practitioners and artists and thought leaders to pursue fresh approaches to the world of visual culture with the ultimate goal of changing the culture.