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Johanna Burton Named Director of Wexner Center for the Arts

Above: Johanna Burton. Photo: Erin Leland.
Above: Johanna Burton. Photo: Erin Leland.

COLUMBUS, OHIO—The Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University announced today that Johanna Burton has been appointed its next director. Burton comes to the institution from the New Museum in New York, where she has served as director and curator of education and public engagement since 2013. She succeeds Sherri Geldin, who is stepping down in December. Burton will take up the post in March.  

“Johanna is the perfect leader—intelligent, inquisitive, collaborative, and ambitious,” said center trustee Abigail Wexner. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that she will guide the arts center into the future, while building on the superb work of Sherri Geldinand the talented staff.” As director, Burton will helm all aspects of the institution’s multidisciplinary arts and education programs, oversee a seventy-person staff, and manage a $12 million budget.

During her tenure at the New Museum, Burton revived its Critical Anthologies series after a ten-year hiatus and organized numerous exhibitions including “Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room” (2016) and “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” (2017). A contributor to Artforum, Burton previously worked as director of the Graduate Program at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies and as associate director and a senior faculty member at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. Burton’s curatorial projects include “Sherrie Levine: Mayhem” (2011) at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and “Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology” (2014) at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Commenting on her new role, Burton said: “The Wexner Center is one of this country’s most venerable contemporary art institutions, noted for its trailblazing spirit, dedication to pushing boundaries, and engagement with leading and emerging artists alike to create new work. I am excited to join the board and staff in thinking about how we best steward this incredible legacy and momentum to continue to create programs, exhibitions, publications, and communities of creatives that break ground and investigate the questions and challenges of our time.”

November 29, 2018