Comings and Goings

This month:


Helen Ghosh, head of UK’s Home Office, to become director-general of National Trust

Helen Ghosh is stepping down as head of the UK’s Home Office to become the director-general of the National Trust, which oversees the protection of more than 300 historic buildings and their collections. Ghosh has served in the civil service for 33 years, including a stint as the head of the Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs. She replaces Fiona Reynolds, who is becoming master of Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge after leading the National Trust for 12 years.

Seattle Art Museum gets a director, Kimerly Rorschach

The Seattle Art Museum, which hasn’t had a director since June 2011, announced that Kimerly Rorschach is filling the post this autumn. Rorschach is the founding director of Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art, which she helped open in 2005. The Seattle museum was hit hard in the 2008 crash when its major funder Washington Mutual Bank folded. Rorschach’s predecessor, Derrick Cartwright, resigned after just two years in the position, saying that it required a “24-hours-a-day commitment to solving problems”.

YBCA director Kenneth Foster stepping down next year

The executive director of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Kenneth Foster, is stepping down in May 2013 to lead a new graduate programme in arts leadership at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Foster has led YBCA since 2003, during which time the institution garnered numerous awards for its programming and audience development. Foster also launched an all-access program for visitors and is noted for doubling the organisation’s budget during a nation-wide recession. He begins at USC in September 2013.

Geoffrey Crossick leaving University of London to be director of Cultural Value Project

Geoffrey Crossick has stepped down as the vice chancellor of the University of London in July and became the director of the Cultural Value Project with the Arts & Humanities Research Council in Britain. The project, aimed at advancing an understanding of the economic value of the arts and creative industries, launched in mid-July. Crossick previously served as the warden of Goldsmiths, University of London, the chief executive of the Arts & Humanities Research Board and the pro-vice-chancellor of academic development at the University of Essex.

After 26 years, Mitchell Kahan stepping down as director of Akron Art Museum

After a 26-year-long tenure as director of the Akron Art Museum in Ohio, Mitchell Kahan is stepping down in January 2013 and assuming the title of director emeritus. The museum changed immensely during his leadership: it grew to 83,000 sq. ft, more than three times larger than when he began; its endowment multiplied to over $20m from just $2m; and both the staff and collection more than doubled. Kahan also raised nearly $5m for the museum’s endowment for art purchases, which was nonexistent when he began in 1986.

Martha Tedeschi is deputy director for art and research at Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has named Martha Tedeschi its deputy director for art and research, a new position to oversee the museum’s conservation and publications departments and the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. Starting at the Institute as an NEA intern in 1982, Tedeschi became a full curator in 1999 and now serves as curator of prints and drawings. Prior to Tedeschi’s appointment, the Institute hadn’t had a deputy director for more than ten years.

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York shuffles photography department

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is shuffling its photography department by moving Malcolm Daniel to the new position of senior curator. Daniel previously served as the department’s curator in charge, a position now held by Jeff Rosenheim, who has been a photography curator at the museum since 2007. Daniel has led the department since 2003 and now intends to focus on studying 19th- and early 20th-century photography.

MFA Boston makes Nancy Berliner curator of Chinese art

The Museum of Fine Arts, (MFA), in Boston has named Nancy Berliner its Wu Tung curator of Chinese art. Since 2000, Berliner has been the curator of Chinese art at the Peabody Essex Museum in nearby Salem, Massachusetts. Berliner has authored several books on Chinese furniture and previously served as the guest curator of “Beyond the Screen, Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries” at the MFA.

Harvard Art Museums name Ethan Lasser associate curator of American art

The Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have named Ethan Lasser to be the associate curator of American art. Since 2007, Lasser has been the curator of the Chipstone Foundation, an American art research institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He reinstalled the foundation’s permanent galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2008. The Harvard Art Museums, which include the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M. Sackler, are being renovated to become a single complex that is due to open in late 2014.

Laurent Le Bon to lead Pompidou Metz for another three years

Laurent Le Bon’s contract to lead the Pompidou Center’s satellite in the Lorraine region of France has been renewed for another three years. Le Bon, the founding director of the two-year-old museum in Metz, has made a splash with exhibitions such as “Masterpieces?”, which questioned whether that term was still relevant, and “1917”, about artistic production during the outbreak of the First World War. Le Bon has also cultivated relationships with local institutions to put on shows, such as the upcoming photography exhibition organised with FRAC Lorraine.

Ellen Blumenstein made chief curator at Kunst-Werke, Berlin

Ellen Blumenstein has been appointed the chief curator at Kunst-Werke, a contemporary art institution in Berlin. Blumenstein, an independent curator and founder of the venue Salon Populaire in Berlin, served as a curator at Kunst-Werke between 1998-2005. Since then, she has organised projects across the world, including a summer arts session in São Paulo, an exhibition at the Galician Contemporary Art Centre in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

Sofi´a Herna´ndez Chong Cuy to curate Brazil’s Mercosul Biennial in 2013

Sofi´a Herna´ndez Chong Cuy has been appointed to curate Brazil’s Mercosul Biennial in September 2013. Taking a cue from the biennial’s proposal to use communication techniques from throughout history, the announcement was made in Porto Alegre, Brazil, with a smoke signal. Herna´ndez Chong Cuy is the curator of contemporary art at Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, which is based in New York and Caracas, Venezuela. She previously served as the director of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and as the curator and programmes manager at Art in General in New York.

Biennale of Sydney appoints Juliana Engberg as artistic director for 2014

The Biennale of Sydney has appointed Juliana Engberg as its artistic director for 2014. Engberg is the artistic director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne and was the curator of the Melbourne Festival Visual Arts Program from 2000 to 2006. She served as the senior curatorial advisor for Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and received the Herald Angel award for a programme she created for the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in 2009.

Rita Kersting becomes curator of contemporary art at Israel Museum

Rita Kersting becomes a curator of contemporary art at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in October. While currently working as a curator in the Netherlands, Kersting previously served as director of the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, a contemporary art museum in Düsseldorf, from 2001 through 2007. She also served as a member of the Acquisition Committee for the State Art Collection of Germany from 2003 through 2007. Kersting replaces Suzanne Landau, who moves to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in September.

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