Betye Saar Wins 2014 MacDowell Medal

PETERBOROUGH, NH—The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Boehm reports that artist Betye Saar will be honored with this year’s Edward MacDowell Medal. The award’s given by the MacDowell Colony in recognition of lifetime achievement. Saar will join an elite roster of honorees that also includes artists like Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Robert Frank, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jasper Johns, as well as composer Stephen Sondheim, writer Joan Didion, and architect I. M. Pei. Novelist Michael Chabon—chair of the MacDowell Colony— commended Saar for creating work “as inescapably recognizable as our own broken world . . . mapping it with fierceness, a sense of play and . . . wild accuracy.”

April 16, 2014

MoMA Promotes Three Curators

NEW YORK—The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced that several of its curators have been promoted: Jodi Hauptman and Starr Figura are now senior curator and curator, respectively, in the department of drawings and prints, while Joshua Siegel has been named a curator in the department of film. Hauptman joined the museum in 2002. She is the author of Joseph Cornell: Stargazing in the Cinema (1999) and winner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Charles Eldredge prize for distinguished scholarship in American art. Figura, meanwhile, had served in the department of prints and illustrated books since 2008, where she was Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten associate curator. She organized “German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse” in 2011. Siegel, who’s been with the museum since 1993, has organized or coorganized over ninety exhibitions, including “Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema,” which opened earlier this year.

April 15, 2014

Perez Museum Faces Lawsuit in Wake of Beam Collapse

MIAMI, FL—Evan S. Benn reports in the Miami Herald that the Perez Museum in Miami is facing a lawsuit that alleges two of its contractors failed to keep several five-ton-plus beams from collapsing during construction. The engineering firm Arup USA is demanding nearly $7 million from the museum and from the contractors it employed. “PAMM was included in the lawsuit based on its role as owner and in no way bears responsibility for any monetary damages claimed by the engineer,” said museum officials in a statement.

April 14, 2014

Milwaukee Art Museum Unveils New Design

MILWAUKEE, WI—The Milwaukee Art Museum has unveiled designs for its new 17,000-square-foot, two-story building, reports Mary Louise Schumacher of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee architect Jim Shields’ plans will create a new lakefront entrance, as well as more exhibition space for the museum’s collection and a dramatic sculpture gallery that will be visible to passers-by. The museum has raised about $13 million of the $15 million it needs for the renovation.

April 13, 2014

SF MoMA to Open New Center for Photography

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be establishing the John and Lisa Pritzker Center for Photography. Funded with a lead gift from the Pritzkers alongside support from other patrons, the 15,000-square-foot space will be the largest of its kind devoted to photography of any museum in the US, and will occupy almost all of the third floor of the expanded museum, which is designed by Snøhetta, and which will make its debut in 2016. Said John Pritzker, “The Bay Area has always played an important role in the history of photography and is home to a uniquely vibrant and engaged community of enthusiasts and private collectors.”

April 12, 2014

Renny Pritikin Named Chief Curator of Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Renny Pritikin has been appointed chief curator of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, effective April 28. Pritikin was previously director of the Nelson Gallery and Fine Arts Collection (2004 to 2010), chief curator of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (1992 to 2004), and codirector of New Langton Arts (1979 to 1992). His curatorial work gave early support to the careers of artists including Nayland Blake, Nancy Rubins, Fred Tomaselli, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, and Chris Johanssen, and brought the work of such artists as Tim Hawkinson, Tom Friedman, Doris Salcedo, and many others to the Bay Area for the first time.

Said executive director Lori Starr: “As a Jewish institution seeking to engage the broader public, this museum requires a curator whose intellectual passions transcend boundaries. Renny is, quite simply, the ideal candidate . . . . [He] is beloved by artists across all the disciplines. He has championed many artists and mentored so many curators in the field, encouraging risk-taking and originality.”

April 11, 2014

New Trustees Named to Board of Cooper-Hewitt

NEW YORK—Three new trustees have been added to the board of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: Jon Iwata, a senior vice president at IBM; Avi Reichental, president and CEO at 3D Systems; and Todd Waterbury, senior vice president, executive creative director at Target Corporation. The board currently includes thirty-six members and is led by chair Barbara Mandel and president Beth Comstock. Said Cooper-Hewitt director Caroline Baumann: “As we start the countdown to our reopening in late 2014, it is absolutely thrilling to welcome to our board of trustees Jon, Avi, and Todd, each of whom is passionate about the future of the nation’s design museum and its impact on visitors worldwide. Both Jon and Todd will be of vital assistance in providing innovative marketing ideas and connections for promoting the new museum, and Avi will be instrumental in helping Cooper-Hewitt integrate digital technology into a transformative visitor experience.”

April 10, 2014

Beatrix Ruf Named Director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM—Beatrix Ruf has been appointed director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, replacing Ann Goldstein. Baer Faxt reported the news this morning. Ruf is currently director of the Kunsthalle Zurich, associate editor for JRP-Ringier, and the artistic director of the Ringier Collection. She sits on the board of Vienna’s MUMOK. In 2012, she was listed as one of the top ten most influential people in the art world by Art Review.

April 9, 2014

Expanded Tacoma Art Museum to Open in November

TACOMA, WA—The Tacoma Art Museum will reopen with its new 16,000-square-foot addition on November 16, 2014, reports Patricia Cohen of the New York Times. The new Haub Family Galleries were designed by Olson Kundig Architects. They will house approximately three hundred western American paintings, including works by Frederic Remington and Georgia O’Keeffe, donated by Erivan and Helga Haub to the museum in 2012.

April 8, 2014

Tom Finkelpearl Appointed New York City’s Cultural Affairs Commissioner

NEW YORK—Tom Finkelpearl, the president and executive director of the Queens Museum, New York, has been named the cultural affairs commissioner by mayor Bill de Blasio, reports Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. Finkelpearl became director of the Queens Museum in 2002, overseeing its expansion that was completed last fall. He has previously served as the executive director of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, from 1996 to 1999, and as deputy director of MoMA PS1, New York. He graduated from Princeton University and received his MFA in sculpture from Hunter College, New York. As commissioner, Finkelpearl will be in charge of a $156 million dollar budget for the city’s art programming.

April 7, 2014

Margaret Sundell Named Executive Editor of Drawing Center’s Drawing Papers

NEW YORK—The Drawing Center has appointed Margaret Sundell executive editor of the center’s publication, the Drawing Papers. Sundell is currently editor-at-large of Cabinet and has taught art history and critical theory at Columbia University and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Some prior positions of hers include chief critic and art editor of Time Out New York and director of the Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program; she also contributes to Artforum magazine. Said executive director Brett Littman: “We are absolutely thrilled that Margaret is joining our team at the Drawing Center. She is someone I have admired for many years as one of the most accomplished editors and writers in the art world. Her intelligence, curiosity, and unique editorial skill set will be invaluable to our publications and institution.”

April 6, 2014

New Director of Technology and Digital Media at the Dallas Museum of Art

DALLAS, TX—Shyam Oberoi has been named director of technology and digital media at the Dallas Museum of Art. Oberoi is currently general manager of collections information services at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an institution he joined in 2006, reports the New York Observer. Said deputy director Robert Stein: “I’m very pleased that Shyam Oberoi will join the Dallas Museum of Art next month. With his significant expertise and his successful track record of managing complex projects, I am confident that under his direction the museum will make major strides in reaching audiences with new digital initiatives while maintaining the museum’s tradition of excellence online.”

April 5, 2014

Barnes Foundation Official Leaves for Addison Gallery of American Art

ANDOVER, MA—Judith F. Dolkart has been named director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at the Phillips Academy. Dolkhart is currently deputy director of the Barnes Foundation—an institution she joined in 2010—and previously acted as associate curator of European Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Andrew Russeth of the New York Observer reports that her resignation follows the departure of director Derek Gillman, who left the Barnes four months ago to become a visiting professor at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University. Said John Palfrey, head of the academy: “We are delighted to welcome Judith to Phillips Academy and the Addison community. Judith is an accomplished curator and educator who believes deeply in visual literacy, cross-media learning, and the power of art to engage, persuade, and provide transformative experiences.”

April 4, 2014

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Appoints New Curator

BOSTON, MA—The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, has appointed Christina Nielsen as its curator of the collection and director of program planning, reports Andrew Russeth of GalleristNY. Most recently the assistant curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she’s worked since 2003, Nielsen has also held positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art; the British Museum, London; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She begins her new post in April 2014.

April 3, 2014

Moscow’s Garage Art Center to Become a Museum

MOSCOW—The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, has announced that it will become a museum, reports Randy Kennedy of the New York Times. The nonprofit center was founded in 2008 by collector Dasha Zhukova. By May 1, 2014, it will be known as the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2015, the institution will move to a new permanent home, a building in Gorky Park redesigned by architect Rem Koolhaas.

April 2, 2014

Oregon Arts Commission Gives Grants to Seventeen Arts Groups

SALEM, OR—The Oregon Arts Commission has awarded $237,500 to seventeen arts groups, reports David Stabler of The Oregonian. The grants predominantly focus on helping groups upgrade technology, like office and radio station equipment. Grantees range from the Newspace Center for Photography, which will receive $7,900, to the Salem Art Association, which will receive $24,500. This round of grants is one of thirteen the arts commission awards each year.

April 1, 2014

M.I.T. Program in Art, Culture and Technology
School of Visual Arts
Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Royal Academy of Art, The Hague