September 25, 2019

Lawrence Rinder to Step Down as Berkeley Art Museum Director and Chief Curator

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA—Lawrence Rinder, the director and chief curator of the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), announced today that he plans to resign in March 2020 but will continue to work with BAMPFA on a consulting basis. Chief administrative officer Richard Tellinghuisen and senior film curator Susan Oxtoby will serve as co–interim directors until a successor is appointed.

“For more than a decade, Lawrence Rinder has been an outstanding leader of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, amplifying the museum’s international reputation and deepening its public impact through programming that advances the highest creative and intellectual aspirations of UC Berkeley,” said chancellor Carol Christ. “Larry has cultivated BAMPFA’s role as an indispensable cultural resource for a diverse and growing audience, overseeing the museum’s transition to a beautiful new building and organizing critically acclaimed exhibitions that reflect both a deep sense of scholarship and an unwavering commitment to public engagement.”

Rinder first joined the museum in 1988 as curator of MATRIX, its signature contemporary art exhibition series, and assistant director for audience and programs. He departed the institution in 1998. That same year, he founded the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and served as its founding director until 2000, when he was hired as curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. After a four-year stint at the Whitney, he returned to the CCA to become dean of graduate studies. He helmed the program until 2008, when he was named director of BAMPFA.

During his tenure as director, Rinder oversaw BAMPFA’s move from its former home on Bancroft Way to a new Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed building in downtown Berkeley. Rinder curated its inaugural exhibition “Architecture of Life” when it opened in 2016. Since its relocation, the attendance to BAMPFA has doubled. Rinder also initiated partnerships with independent arts organizations across the Bay Area and was instrumental in the acquisition of more than six thousand works for the museum’s collection.

Commenting on his directorship, Rinder said: “I am deeply honored to have spent the past eleven years leading an institution that has contributed so much to Bay Area’s arts community throughout its history, and which gave me one of my first professional opportunities as a young curator many years ago. BAMPFA has always been defined not just by its commitment to excellence but by its welcoming and inclusive spirit, a deep belief that art can transcend cultural boundaries and change the world for the better.”

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