Contemporary Arts Museum Houston names new director

Hesse McGraw has served at San Francisco and Nebraska art institutions

Hesse McGraw Mike Sinclair

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) announced today that it had appointed Hesse McGraw to be its new director. McGraw most recently served as a partner of the design firm el dorado, inc, and had previously held the title of vice president for exhibitions and public programs at the San Francisco Art Institute. From 2008 to 2013, he served as chief curator at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Texas museum’s previous director, Bill Arning, abruptly resigned in 2018 after a tenure of nearly 10 years.

“I could not be more pleased that Hesse McGraw will be coming to Houston to serve as the new Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston,” Dillon Kyle, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “Hesse brings a wonderful combination of a deep passion for the arts and practical experience as an administrator and curator at several of the nation’s most innovative arts programs. His wide-ranging background, entrepreneurial spirit and creative perspective make him the ideal person to lead CAMH at this exciting time in the institution’s nearly 75-year history.”

“I am thrilled to join CAMH at this pivotal moment in our culture—we need artists now more than ever,” said McGraw. He will be the museum’s 10th director and will assume the role in January.