Marc-Olivier Wahler To Helm Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University

As MSU's Provost says, he's bringing a "broad perspective to campus."

Marc-Olivier Wahler.
Photo: Courtesy of Da Ping Luo.
Marc-Olivier Wahler.Photo: Courtesy of Da Ping Luo.

Marc-Olivier Wahler.
Photo: Courtesy of Da Ping Luo.

Wandering curator Marc-Olivier Wahler, known for previous stints as director of the Swiss Institute and the Palais de Tokyo, is now setting sail for Lansing, Michigan. His latest destination, while surprising, has everything to do with one Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, who have tapped him to helm their ship as the new director.

This comes after a year-long void since the museum’s founding director Michael Rush passed away last March. “I am honored to have been selected to serve as director of the Broad Art Museum at MSU,” Wahler said in a statement. “The museum’s mission of employing international contemporary art and ideas as a platform for education and experimentation resonates deeply with so much of the work I have undertaken throughout my career.”

Members of the university and the Broad’s committee, including the university’s provost, dean, and board chair, have expressed excitement about his appointment. “As the new director, Mr. Wahler will bring a broad, international perspective to campus,” MSU provost June Pierce Youatt said in a statement.

Billionaire entrepreneur Eli Broad, who helped found the eponymous museum, said in a statement: “Marc-Olivier Wahler’s experience with international arts institutions makes him an ideal director for the Broad Art Museum at MSU. Edythe and I are impressed with Marc-Olivier’s curatorial abilities and his deep appreciation for contemporary art, and we know he will continue the Broad Art Museum’s tradition of presenting thought-provoking and scholarly exhibitions.”

Broad Museum

Credentials from Wahler’s over two-decade-long career in the arts include curating over 400 exhibitions internationally; serving as director of the Swiss Institute from 2000–2006 and director of the Palais de Tokyo from 2006–2012; and, more recently, working as an independent curator on projects such as the Audemars Piguet Art Commission in 2014.

The museum takes its name after Eli and Edythe Broad, long-time supporters of the university who provided the museum with a $28 million gift for the museum’s establishment in 2012. The 46,000-square-foot space was opened in 2012 to provide educational and cultural services to the greater East Lansing area. Broad MSU maintains a hefty collection of 7,500 objects, which date from the early Greco-Roman era through to works of modern art.

The current exhibition, titled “Artist as Activist,” opened March, and features works by contemporary Bangladeshi artists Tayeba Begum Lipi and Mahbubur Rahman.

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.