Weekly Shuffle: Art Fair Appointments and Met Resignations

Changes are afoot at London's NPG, the Met, and several art fairs.

Photo courtesy of diane-rodriguez.com
Nicholas Cullinan.  Photo: Jackie Neale Chadwick.

Nicholas Cullinan.  Photo: Jackie Neale Chadwick.

Curator Nicholas Cullinan will replace Sandy Nairne as director upon his return to London’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) this spring (see National Portrait Gallery Appoints Nicholas Cullinan as Director). Cullinan first worked at the NPG 14 years ago as a front-of-house assistant, and has most recently been curator of modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Met is also losing senior vice president for public affairs Harold Holzer, whose pending retirement ends a 23-year career at the institution, and assistant chief human resources officer Irina Shifrin, who has joined Phillips as its chief people officer.

TEFAF Maastricht’s executive committee has named Sotheby’s veteran Patrick Van Maris as its new chief executive officer. Paul Hustinx, who is retiring after nearly 20 years in the role, will continue to work with the international art fair in an adviser capacity (see TEFAF to welcome new CEO Patrick Van Maris).

It has been reported that Gabriele Finaldi, the co-director of the Prado in Madrid, will be named director of the National Gallery in London (see National Gallery to Tap Gabriele Finaldi as Director). Finaldi would succeed Nicholas Penny, soon to retire under somewhat controversial circumstances (see Staffing Crisis at London’s National Gallery). Prime Minister David Cameron has allegedly signed off on the appointment.

The Park Avenue Armory has selected Melanie Forman as its new chief development officer. Forman formerly served as vice president of development for the New York Philharmonic.

Nicole Russo is stepping down from her position at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery to run her Lower East Side gallery Chapter NY full-time. Chapter is currently exhibiting “WITH & WIDTH,” featuring Math Bass, Lauren Davis Fisher, and Gordan Hall.

New York Times art critic Karen Rosenberg has resigned after seven years with the paper to join art sales company Artspace as deputy editor (see New York Times Critic Karen Rosenberg to Artspace as Deputy Editor).

The Guggenheim Museum, New York, has selected  Sara Raza for the third curatorial residency in its UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Raza’s focus on the Middle East and North Africa will complement the work of other MAP curators June Yap (South and Southeast Asia) and Pablo Leon de la Barra (Latin America).

The Dallas Contemporary welcomes two additions to its curatorial staff: Alison Gingeras will serve as adjunct curator, while Justine Ludwig has been named director of exhibitions and senior curator. Gingeras previously served as the chief curator of the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and as curator of contemporary art at Paris’s Centre Pompidou. Ludwig’s resume includes stints at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Colby College Museum of Art and the MIT List Visual Arts Center (see Dallas Contemporary Hires Alison Gingeras and Justine Ludwig).

The Detroit Institute of Arts bids adieu to longtime director Graham Beal, who has spent sixteen years at the helm, most recently weathering the city’s bankruptcy crisis and ensuring the museum’s future with a successful $100 million fundraising campaign (see DIA Director Graham Beal Is Stepping Down).

Photo courtesy of diane-rodriguez.com

Diane Rodriguez nominated to National Council on the Arts. Photo: courtesy diane-rodriguez.com,

President Obama has nominated Diane Rodriguez, director of Los Angeles Center Theatre Group, to join the National Council on the Arts in Washington (see Obama Nominates Noted Theatre Leader for Role on National Council on the Arts).

Joshua Holdeman is now Sotheby’s head of 20th-century design, photographs, and prints. He joined the auction house last April as senior vice president and vice chairman of the Americas after ten years with Christie’s (see Joshua Holdeman named Sotheby’s Worldwide 20th-Century Design Head).

Art Basel has snagged art adviser Adeline Ooi for its director Asia position (see Art Basel Taps Art Adviser Adeline Ooi for Asia Director Post). Ooi succeeds Magnus Renfrew, who left to join Bonhams earlier this year.

Former Armory show director Katelijne De Backer, most recently director of exhibitor relations at SCOPE, will head the New York edition of Art Miami, set to hold its first edition this March (see Former Armory Show Director Will Run New Art Miami New York).

Frieze has named Abby Bangser, head of the Americas Foundation for London’s Serpentine Galleries, as its artistic director for the Americas and Asia (see Frieze Announces New Artistic Director for the Americas and Asia). The fair has also brought on Clara Kim, senior curator at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, as the curator of “Spotlight,” a subsection of the Frieze Master and Frieze New York fairs focused on 20th century artworks.

Alex Sainsbury, founder of London’s nonprofit art center Raven Row, will chair Whitechapel Gallery’s board of trustees. Sainsbury takes over in March for Robert Taylor, who has held the position for almost ten years.

The Brooklyn Museum’s associate curator of exhibitions, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, has been named curator of American Art at the Newark Museum.

Nathanial Silver, who has held prestigious fellowships at the Guggenheim, LA’s Getty Museum and New York’s Frick Collection, has been named assistant curator of the collection at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Following the decision of Israel’s Haifa Museum of Art not to renew the contract of its chief curator, Leah Abir, (allegedly the institution’s CEO “found her difficult to work with”) two of her colleagues, Orit Bulgaru and Guy Shoval, have resigned in solidarity.

Artists Space in New York will add three board members: City University of New York Graduate Center art history professor David Joselit, artist and gallerist Margaret Lee, and collector Thomas Wong. The organization has also appointed Leanne Mella as director of development and external affairs, and Harry Burke as assistant curator and web editor.

Derek Gillman. Photo:  Philly Record.

Derek Gillman. Photo: via the Philly Record.

Derek Gillman will head Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department for the Americas (see Christie’s Appoints New Imp Mod Chairman for the Americas). Previously director of Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, Gillman accepts this Imp Mod post after Doug Woodham’s resignation as President of Christie’s Americas. The position was newly created for him. Barnes COO and FCO Peg Zminda has served as acting director since Gillman’s resignation last year, but will soon be replaced by Thom Collins, currently director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida (see Thom Collins Leaves Miami for Barnes Foundation). Ambra Medda, artistic director of L’ArcoBaleno and co-founder of Design Miami, will also join Christie’s as the creative director of the 20/21 design department.

After serving as the director of exhibitions at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston for eight years, Fabio Fernandez has been promoted to the institution’s executive director. Beth Ann Gerstein, who had held that post for 21 years, was appointed head of the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California, last June.

The Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas will take on a new curator in artist Michael Mazurek, founder of DB/Dallas Biennal series.

San Antonio’s artist residency Artpace has hired Sue Grace as its interim director. Grace formerly served as executive director emeritus of Austin’s Arthouse at the Jones Center, and fills the vacancy left by Amanda Cruz, who was recently named director of the Phoenix Art Museum.

Following the resignation of Matthew Lennon, the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) has a new director of civic art and design in Sara Kellner, the arts in transit manager for METRO’s Houston Light Rail Expansion since 2006. In addition, HAA president and CEO Jonathon Glus has been named president of the board of directors at Texans for the Arts.

Timothy Brown has been appointed director of education at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinatti, Ohio. Brown previously held the position of curator of education at Alabama’s Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (CRMA) has hired former intern and University of Iowa teaching assistant and Ph.D candidate Kate Kunau as associate curator.

Healoha Johnston will become the Honolulu Museum of Art’s first curator of Hawaii-based art.

The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has appointed James Pepper Henry, director and CEO of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, as its new executive director. Henry succeeds interim director Susan Neal in the role.


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