Former El Museo del Barrio Director Jorge Daniel Veneciano to Head Museum of Arts and Design

He enters during a challenging time for the museum.

Jorge Daniel Veneciano is the new director of New York's Museum of Arts and Design. Courtesy of photographer Jenna Bascom/Museum of Arts and Design.

Less than one month after announcing his departure from New York’s El Museo del Barrio, Jorge Daniel Veneciano has been named as director of New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), reports the New York Times.

El Museo’s high turnover rate in top leadership positions in recent years has been much remarked upon—Veneciano was there just two years, as was his predecessor, Margarita Aguilar, who sued the institution for gender discrimination upon her departure—but MAD hasn’t been without its own difficulties.

In January 2013, the museum announced that its longtime director, Holly Hotchner, would be stepping down. Her replacement, Glenn Adamson, a critic and curator, lasted just two and a half years, from September 2013 to March 2016.

Glenn Adamson. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

Glenn Adamson. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

Since Adamson’s departure, the museum’s managing director, Robert Cundall, who was hired in 2014, has served as interim director.

As the museum enters its 60th anniversary year, part of Veneciano’s goals as director will be to increase the museum’s visibility.

“We’re in the middle of New York City, and there are many people who don’t know where we are,” museum board chairwoman Michele Cohen, chairwoman of the board at the Museum of Arts and Design, told the Times. “That seems very strange after almost nine years.” (The museum adopted its current name, having formerly been known as the American Craft Museum, in 2002, and moved into its Columbus Circle headquarters in September 2008.)

The Museum of Arts and Design. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

The Museum of Arts and Design. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

“I have been enthralled with MAD ever since it opened on Columbus Circle,” said Veneciano in a statement. “The museum has been nothing short of magical in its presentations, and I’d like to see it reach more visitors and new audiences… MAD is brimming with potential.”

Before leading El Museo, Veneciano was director of the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska (2008–13), and a curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem (1994–99) and at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (1991–94).

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