The Weekly Shuffle: MoMA’s New Consultant, Twombly Foundation Shake-Up, and More

Your essential roundup of art world hirings, firings, and amicable partings.

Darby English. Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art has hired Darby English in a consulting curatorial role to increase the representation of black artists in the museum’s collection. English is the director of the research and academic program at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

After a year of contentious legal battles, a private settlement at the Cy Twombly Foundation will see the resignation of two of the foundation’s four directors. Ralph E. Lerner, a prominent art world lawyer, and Thomas H. Saliba, a financial adviser, are out, leaving Nicola Del Roscio and Julie Sylvester, respectively, the foundation’s president and vice president, as controlling directors.


Sandra Jackson-Dumont.
Photo: Jennifer Richard.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has appointed Sandra Jackson-Dumont as its new chairman of education. After eight years at the Seattle Art Museum, Jackson-Dumont is returning to New York, where she worked previously at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In Seattle she was the director of education and public programs and served as the adjunct curator of modern and contemporary art. At the Met’s northern outpost in Fort Tryon Park, Caleb Leech is the Cloisters‘s new managing horticulturalist, filling the vacancy left by Deirdre Larkin’s December departure. Leech, who will be in charge of maintaining the uptown museum’s three outdoor gardens, has worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden since 2004.

Melynda Seaton, an art history doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma, is the new curator and administrator of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln‘s Great Plains Art Museum. Seaton specializes in the art of the American West.

Independent curator and writer Aaron Ott is the new public art curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Recently, Ott worked on projects in Chicago at the Hyde Park Art Center, the Elmhurst Art Museum, Columbia College, and the Chicago Artists Coalition.

Carla Peterson. Photo: Stephanie Berger.

Carla Peterson.
Photo: Stephanie Berger.

New York Live Arts artistic director Carla Peterson is heading south to become director of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, Tallahassee. Peterson has been with Live Arts (formerly the Dance Theater Workshop) since 2006, before which she was the executive director of Movement Research. Jennifer S.B Calienes, who has directed the Maggie Allesee Center since its founding in 2004, has relocated to Massachusetts and will continue to work with the center in a senior advisory role.

Philadelphia-headquartered auction house Freeman’s is beefing up its team. After adding offices in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Boston, the company has hired three new members: Matthew S. Wilcox will head up its Washington, D.C. and lower-Mid Atlantic team; former Bonhams expert Michael Larsen is the new head of fine jewelry and watches; and William A. Rudd has joined Freeman’s Midwestern squad.

Art insurance specialist AXA ART has named Kai Kuklinski as its new global CEO, succeeding Ulrich Guntram, who will assume the role of CEO of AXA Corporate Solutions Asia. Kuklinski has held numerous roles at AXA Group subsidiaries since 1999, most recently as executive director of the broker distribution of AXA Konzern AG.

A representative from Christie’s confirms that as of last week Matthew Paton is no longer the auction house’s European head of communications.

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