MoMA Appoints Star Curator Leah Dickerman to Lead New Content Team

The former curator will serve as the museum's director of editorial and content strategy, a newly created position.

Leah Dickerman, photo: Martin Seck, Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.
Leah Dickerman, photo: Martin Seck, Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is investing big in a new team tasked with promoting its collection and exhibitions outside the confines of the gallery space.

The squad will be led by Leah Dickerman, previously a curator in the museum’s painting and sculpture department, and Rob Baker, the former chief marketing officer for Tate in London. Dickerman will serve as MoMA’s director of editorial and content strategy; Baker has been appointed director of marketing and creative strategy.

Many museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, have developed creative and ambitious publications and digital programs to supplement their exhibitions. But it is rare for a prominent curator to make the leap to a dedicated content team.

Rob Baker. Image courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Martin Sekera.

Dickerman has organized notable shows including “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends” (currently on view through September 17) and the 2015 exhibition of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. Both shows offer a taste of what Dickerman might have in store for audiences in her new role.

The Rauschenberg exhibition was accompanied by a three-part video series documenting the installation of the artist’s messy Mud Muse. The Lawrence exhibition, meanwhile, inspired not only a traditional catalogue but also a children’s book, newly commissioned poetry, and a flashy data visualization of population changes during the Great Migration.

MoMA’s expanded approach to content comes as it prepares to open its Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed extension in 2019. Baker is no stranger to the media frenzy surrounding high-profile museum projects; he oversaw marketing for the launch of the expanded Tate Modern in 2016.

In a statement about the new team, Dickerman said: “To think in new ways about how our platforms can nurture thought, discussion, and inspiration is a key challenge facing museums now. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Rob and my colleagues across the Museum to create a comprehensive strategy for developing innovative content about our extraordinary collection and programs in ways that are relevant for today.”


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