Jewish Museum Deputy Director Jens Hoffmann Just Wants His Freedom

He's taking on a new role at the institution.

Jens Hoffmann. Photo: Robert Adler, courtesy New York Jewish Museum.

New York’s Jewish Museum deputy director Jens Hoffmann has left his post.

Anne Scher, a spokesperson for the Jewish Museum, confirmed his departure in an email to artnet News. “Jens Hoffmann will no longer serve as the Jewish Museum’s Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, but is taking on a new role as Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs.”

According to the museum, “This will allow him to continue his important work at the Jewish Museum while providing him freedom to pursue projects with other institutions. This arrangement has been crafted to support Jens Hoffmann’s desire to refocus more fully on curating exhibitions and working with artists.”

Hoffmann has been a key staff member since joining the institution in 2012.

New York Jewish Museum. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish Museum. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ArtNews, which broke the story on Wednesday, cited internal correspondence circulated by director Claudia Gould, which reportedly stated that Hoffmann is leaving his post because “he has recently expressed his desire to refocus his attention” on curating and “working closely with artists”.

Indeed, Hoffmann built his reputation largely on his curatorial prowess. In a previous interview with artnet News, he said, “Curating is not only about selecting, but also about framing and contextualizing it all while not alienating the visitors too much by using jargon or being overly elitist about it.”

The curator has organized over 50 international exhibitions, including major biennials, such as the 12th Istanbul Biennial in 2011, and the 9th Shanghai Biennial in 2012. He has previously served as chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London from 2003 to 2007, and as director of the CCA-Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco from 2007 to 2012.

He was recently tapped as co-artistic director of the FRONT International Cleveland Exhibition for Contemporary Art triennial, along with artist Michelle Grabner.


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