Nina Zimmer Appointed as Director of Two Museums in Switzerland

The new director faces several challenges.

Nina Zimmer previously served as deputy director of the Kunstmuseum Basel. Photo: Foundation Beyeler via YouTube

German art historian Nina Zimmer has been appointed as director of the Zentrum Paul Klee (ZPK) and the Museum of Fine Arts Bern, a post she will officially assume this August.

Her appointment follows the recent restructuring of the ZPK and Museum of Fine Arts Bern, which saw both museums merged under a newly-formed parent foundation KMB-ZPK and resulted in directorial vacancies at both institutions.

Former ZPK director Peter Fischer announced last September that he would resign in February to let a new person oversee the transition. Meanwhile, the Museum of Fine Arts Bern’s former director Matthias Frehner was appointed to the four-person board of directors at the museums’ newly-formed umbrella foundation.

Kunstmuseum BernPhoto: Andreas Praefcke via Wikimedia

Kunstmuseum Bern.
Photo: Courtesy of Andreas Praefcke via Wikimedia Commons.

The board of directors are confident that Zimmer will refresh the creative direction and the new image of both institutions.

In a statement issued by the ZKM and the Museum of Fine Arts Bern, the 43-year-old modern art specialist and current deputy director at the Kunstmuseum Basel was described as “belong[ing] to the younger, emerging museum directors of our time […] With the selection of a young, up-and-coming director, the trustees want to emphasize a new direction for the museums and the cultural region of Bern.”

“In the field of modern art,” the statement continues, ” which is of particular importance for Bern, Nina Zimmer is very highly respected and she realized many successful exhibitions at her former workplaces.”

The spectacular Paul Klee Zentrum was designed by Renzo Piano. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The spectacular Paul Klee Zentrum was designed by Renzo Piano.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In a conversation with Swiss daily publication Der Bund, Zimmer said: “I look forward to this very interesting and exciting task because the museum is at a moment which I can help shape. This attracted me to the new task.” She added: “We need to concentrate on and develop our strengths more than we have in the past. Now we must all pull together.”

Monopol reported that the young, incoming director faces several challenges, which includes strengthening the museums’ artistic profile, the expansion of the exhibition space, and saving CHF 1 million ($1.02 million) in operational costs and CHF 300,000 ($306,800) in personnel costs.

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