The Weekly Shuffle: Artists Return to MOCA, Buffalo Curators’ Exodus, and More

This week's hirings and firings, from LA and NYC to Buffalo and Canberra.

John Baldessari. Photo by Brian Lindensmith, ©Patrick McMullan.
John Baldessari. Photo by Brian Lindensmith, ©Patrick McMullan.

As reported by artnet News earlier this week, Kathi Cypres and Steven F. Roth, as well as artists John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, and Catherine Opie have been reelected to the board of trustees of Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art. L.A.-based painter Mark Grotjahn will be the fourth artist trustee, replacing Ed Ruscha, who is now on the board at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The board members had all resigned during Jeffrey Deitch’s controversial tenure.

Scott Schaefer, formerly the curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum for 15 years, is Sotheby’s new senior vice president of international fine arts (see report from the Los Angeles Times). This is Schaefer’s second stint with the auction house; he previously was a member of Sotheby’s Old Master paintings and drawings department in New York from 1988 to 1999.

Two prominent curators in Buffalo, New York, will be leaving the city, according to the Buffalo News. After 13 years at the University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Sandra Q. Firmin has been named director of the University of Colorado Boulder Art Museum. Cori Wolff, a six-year veteran of Buffalo Arts Studio, is decamping to Cincinnati’s public art program ArtWorks.

Gallerist reports that David Leiber has stepped down after 20 years as director of Sperone Westwater. According to the New York Times, he is joining David Zwirner Gallery, where he will work on historic exhibitions, secondary sales, and artist estates.


The Columbus Museum in Georgia.
Courtesy The Columbus Museum.

Tom Butler, executive director of Georgia’s Columbus Museum, is retiring following 20 years on the job, reports artdaily. Over the course of his career, Butler has received the Lifetime Professional Award from the Southeastern Museums Conference and was named the Georgia Museum Professional of the Year from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries.

APT Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by Artist Pension Trust (APT) that helps contemporary artists gain international exposure and recognition, has appointed David A. Ross as its director. Ross has served on the advisory board at APT since 2004, and has also been the director of  the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

According to the Fresno Bee, the Fresno Art Museum is losing their executive director of four years, Linda Cano, at the end of the month. Cano has started her own arts consulting firm, AXIS Art Consulting. She is credited with helping save the city’s last major museum, which could have closed due to a leaky roof and the economic downturn; the nearby Fresno Metropolitan Museum closed its doors in 2010 (see report from the Los Angeles Times).

As reported by artdaily, Sharon Percy Rockefeller is the new chairman of the board of trustees of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. John C. Wilmerding, who was appointed to the board in 2005 and became chairman in 2007, has retired and is now a trustee emeritus.


The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
Courtesy the National Gallery of Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald brings news of the impending retirement Ron Radford, director of the National Gallery of Australia for the last ten years. The museum is currently embroiled in a legal battle over a stolen artwork purchased from New York dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is currently being held on charges of looting Indian artifacts (see report from artnet News). Radford, whose current term is set to end in September, maintains that his retirement plans predate the recent controversy.

Gallerist breaks the news that nonprofit artist support network Artadia has added four members to its board of directors: Los Angeles art advisory company Lightbox founder Kimberly Light, industrial packaging manufacturer Kampack CEO Karen Mehiel, Los Angeles-based arts patron Laurie Ziegler, and New York-based art collector Margot Ziegler.

Bonhams auction house has announced two promotions, according to artdaily. Patrick Meade is now the company’s US CEO. Filling his former role as COO and senior vice president of business development will be James Hendy, who previously was head of Bonhams in Australia.

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