Franklin Sirmans Named Director at Pérez Art Museum Miami

Sirmans heads to Florida from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Franklin Sirmans.
Photo:Museum Associates/LACMA

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has hired Franklin Sirmans as its new director.

The 46-year-old curator, writer, and editor makes his way to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed museum on Biscayne Bay via the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he has been the department head and curator of contemporary art since 2010. During his tenure there, Sirmans organized exhibitions including “Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada” and “Fútbol: The Beautiful Game.”

Before his time at LACMA, Sirmans was the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; US editor of Flash Art; and editor-in-chief of ArtAsiaPacific.

Sirmans served as the artistic director of the acclaimed 2014 Prospect New Orleans biennial, “P3: Notes for Now.” The Art Newspaper called the exhibition “the most radically diverse biennial in recent history,” and it was described by artnet News’ Christian Viveros-Faune as “chock-full of a growing wave of multidisciplinary social realism.”


The Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Courtesy: Pérez Art Museum Miami.

“I’d like to lead the Pérez in defining its identity as a 21st-century museum and one that is concerned with histories of modern and contemporary art, but one that is very much about the dynamic of making and living with art in the present,” Sirmans told the Miami Herald.

Sirmans is the museum’s fourth director in the past decade. The museum has a history of difficulties with fundraising, and controversially renamed itself in 2013 in honor of Jorge Pérez, a real estate developer who made a $100 million gift to the museum. Acknowledging his future financial responsibilities, Sirmans told the Times, “The idea of being a curator in the 21st century who solely puts together shows and doesn’t have a part in fund-raising, is not a part of what we do anymore.”

Sirmans, who assumes his new role October 15, succeeds Thom Collins, who left PAMM after five years to oversee the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics