Weekly Shuffle: Ben Davis New National Art Critic, Joseph Grima, POOL Directors and More

Changes afoot across the art world.

Ben Davis
Ben Davis. Photo: Aaron Sherman

artnet News is pleased to announce that senior writer Ben Davis has been named the publication’s national art critic, the only position of its kind in the country (see “artnet News Appoints Ben Davis National Art Critic“). In his new role, Davis will review the best art shows across the US.

New York’s New Museum has appointed editor, critic, and curator Joseph Grima as head of its annual conference, IDEAS CITY, which explores how culture will affect the future of cities, reports Art Media Agency.

After serving as the chief curator of the Neuberger Museum at Purchase College, State University of New York, for the past two two years, Tracy Fitzpatrick has been promoted to the institution’s director, succeeding Paola Morsiani, who has been tapped to work on initiatives with the museum’s external partners in New York City and Albany.

The Mercosul Biennial Foundation of Visual Arts has named art historian and curator Gaudêncio Fidelis as the chief curator for the tenth Mercosul Biennial, titled “Messages from a New America” and scheduled to open next year in Porto Alegre, Brazil, reports e-flux. The curatorial team will also include adjunct curator Marcio Tavares and assistant curators Ramón Castillo Inostroza, Raphael Fonseca, Fernando Davis, and Carmen Cebreros Urzaiz.

After twenty years with Atlanta’s High Museum of ArtMichael Shapiro, the institution’s director since 2000, will step down when his current contract ends in August 2015, reports Burnaway. His tenure has been criticized by those who feel the museum relied too heavily on hosting exhibitions in conjunction with other venues, rather than creating original programming.

When Wayne Clough steps down as the head of the Smithsonian at year’s end, finance and administration undersecretary Albert G. Horvath well step in for a sixth month term as acting secretary, reports the Washington Post. As previously reported by artnet News, David Skorton will be assuming the role full-time in July (see “David J. Skorton Is Your New Smithsonian Secretary“).

New Hirshhorn Museum director Melissa Chiu (see “Melissa Chiu Named Head of Hirshhorn Museum“) has hired New York’s Gianni Jetzer, formerly director of the Swiss Institute, to the newly created position of curator at large, reports the New York Times.

+ POOL, the ambitious project that would bring a water-filtering, floating pool to New York, has announced the members of the founding board of directors of Friends of + POOL: Joshua David, co-founder of New York’s High Line; Karen Wong, deputy director of New York’s New Museum, and Architizer CEO Marc Kushner.

Manfred Sellink will be the new director of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Manfred Sellink will be the new director of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Antwerp.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp has a new director and head curator in Manfred Sellink , formerly the director of Belgium’s Musea Brugge, reports ArtDaily.

Munich’s Kunstverein München has named American Chris Fitzpatrick, director of the not-for-profit contemporary art center Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium, as its new director, according to Art Review.

The Davis Museum at Massachusetts’s Wellesley College has hired two new curators, reports Art ForumClaire Whitner, formerly the curatorial research fellow for old master paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as associate curator, and Meredith Fluke, who trained students in museum education outreach at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, as curator of academic programs.

Connecticut’s New Britain Museum of American Art is losing its director, Douglas Hyland, who has announced plans to retire next fall after 16 years on the job, reports ArtDaily.

DiverseWorks Artspace, Houston, director Elizabeth Dunbar is leaving to become the director of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, reports Glass Tire​.

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas as Austin has named Koven Smith, the Denver Art Museum‘s director of technology, to the new position of director of digital adaptation, reports ArtDaily.

Jordana Pomeroy, the director of Baton Rouge’s LSU Museum of Art, will assume that same post at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, reports the Charlotte Observer. The institution’s founding director and chief curator, Carol Damian, will continue to teach in FIU’s art and art history departments.

Fred Ritchin , a photography professor of at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, has been named dean of the International Center of Photography’s school, a new position. According to a press release, 32-year ICP vet Phillip S. Block, the school’s deputy director for programs and director of education, “will transition into a new position.”

Boston’s Massachusetts College of Art and Design has hired local architecture firm designLAB to renovate its Bakalar and Paine Galleries, as announced in a press release.

Monica Obniski will be the new curator of design at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Monica Obniski will be the new curator of design at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The Milwaukee Art Museum has hired Monica Obniski, the Art Institute of Chicago‘s assistant curator of American decorative arts, as its new curator of design and decorative arts, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art board has elected four new trustees, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: local artist Mark Bradford, legislative and public policy strategist Heather Podesta, banking executive and philanthropist Christopher Walker, and art collector and entrepreneur Cathy Vedovi.

Christian Dior president and CEO Sidney Toledano is the newest member of the board of trustees for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, reports the Daily Front Row.

Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, has joined the board of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation, Oakland, which is committed to protecting the legacy of deceased artists, reports Art Forum.

Christie’s has promoted Elizabeth Beaman, the vice president of American art since 2011, to the department’s head, replacing Liz Sterling, who will stay on as a consultant through the end of the year before leaving to pursue other projects, according to ART News.

Bonhams has hired Alexi Fung , who has previously worked at international auction houses in Hong Kong and Japan, to serve as managing director of its Hong Kong outpost, and brought on Byzantine and Anglo-Saxon glass specialist James Peake as a member of its London glass department, as reported by ArtDaily and AFA.

Elyse Luray, once Christie’s collectibles department head, has joined Heritage Auctions as a trusts and estates representative, reports ArtDaily.

H&H Classics, Europe’s classic vehicles auctioneers, has hired former Sotheby’s head of vintage and classic cars Julian Shoolheifer as its private sales principal, reports ArtDaily.

Sutton PR has promoted Catherine McClelland, formerly of its London office, as its new vice president and managing director of its Asian offices in Hong Kong, as announced in a press release.

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