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The Revolving Door

Museum Moves: Endeavour Battles LA Traffic; New Faces and Places at the Getty, New Museum, MoMA


(Photo: Lawrence K. Ho for the Los Angeles Times)

• “Wow. I didn’t realize it was so…big.” Such was the gobsmacked refrain of people all across Los Angeles this weekend, as the space shuttle Endeavour battled traffic to arrive fashionably late at a party held in its honor last night at the California Science Center. “In a city whose residents are accused of disdaining public space, the orbiter’s tour led Angelenos to crowd sidewalks 10 or 12 deep as well as drawing thousands of people who live north of the 10 Freeway to boulevards south of it,” writes Christopher Hawthorne in today’s Los Angeles Times. “It packed gas stations and strip-mall parking lots with crowds.” It’s like a brain-searing Bruce Wagner subplot come true!

• In other left coast museum moves, Thomas Kren (who is not to be confused with Thomas Krens) has been appointed associate director of collections for the Getty Museum. Stepping into his previous role as senior curator of manuscripts is Elizabeth Morrison. Both have plenty of experience in their new roles. Kren, who joined the Getty Museum in 1980, has been serving as acting associate director for collections since January 2010. Morrison, who joined the manuscripts department in 1996, has served as its acting senior curator since January of this year.

• Back in New York, Johanna Burton has been appointed Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum. Beginning January 2, 2013, she will oversee all of the museum’s educational, interpretive, and theater initiatives, including the Fifth Floor Education Center and the Museum as Hub global partnership. Burton is currently director of the Graduate Program at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and was formerly associate director of the Whitney Independent Study Program. She succeeds curator Eungie Joo, who has decamped to rural Brazil to serve as director of art and cultural programs at the contemporary art museum Xanadu of Inhotim.
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George Eastman House Appoints New Director

The search for a worthy successor to Anthony Bannon has concluded, and Bruce Barnes (pictured) is the new director of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York. He’ll take the helm of the world’s oldest museum of photography and one of the largest motion-picture archives next week. Barnes, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, is the president of American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation, a private foundation based in New York that works to foster understanding and appreciation of American decorative art from the period around 1900. Before founding ADA1900, he served as CEO of Rochester-based online education company Element K.

“Having devoted most of the last seven years to collaborating with major museums across the country and furthering art scholarship, I am eager to apply my strategic and management skills to leading George Eastman House,” said Barnes in a statement announcing his appointment. “The house and a great many of the museum’s objects fall precisely within my longstanding interest in American art, decorative art, and architecture of the period from 1876 to 1940. My background in innovative online education will be invaluable to the creation of a virtual museum that will provide global access to its superb collections.” Barnes succeeds Bannon, who retired from George Eastman House earlier this year after 16 years in the position.

Gap Names New Creative Director, Head of Design

Big news at Gap Inc., which has tapped Rebekka Bay (pictured) as creative director and executive vice president for Gap global design. Beginning October 1, she will be responsible for product sold online and in the nearly 1,600 stores in 42 countries in which Gap operates. No pressure. News of the appointment comes more than a year after Patrick Robinson was sent packing.

Bay knows fast fashion. She conceptualized, developed, and launched COS, the “timeless modern tactile functional” brand of H&M parent Hennes & Mauritz. Since 2011, Bay has served as creative director at Copenhagen-based Bruuns Bazaar, overseeing the design of “contemporary, edited, and precise” women’s and men’s apparel. “Over the past 17 years, a passion for design and a deep understanding of what consumers want have driven Rebekka Bay’s thriving career,” said Art Peck, president of Gap’s North American division (and Bay’s new boss, along with Gap International President Stephen Sunnucks), in a statement announcing the appointment. “Her designs are timeless and covetable.” Bay will be based in New York, managing design teams there and at the 1969 office in Los Angeles, and will work closely with Pam Wallack, who leads the Gap Global Creative Center.
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American Folk Art Museum Names New Director

The embattled American Folk Art Museum will continue working to right itself under the direction of newly appointed director Anne-Imelda Radice (pictured), the New York institution’s board of trustees announced this week. Radice, who holds a doctorate in art and architectural history (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) as well as an MBA (American University), recently served as the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent U.S. federal agency that supports museums and libraries of all types. Her experience also includes posts at the Humanities Endowment, the United States Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Having served as both a director and a curator, I have long been impressed with American Folk Art Museum’s collection and its presentation,” said Radice in a statement issued by the museum. “The work the Board and staff have done to re-chart the Museum’s course has been gutsy and inspiring, and I am honored to join and have the responsibility of leading their team.” Radice replaces Maria Ann Conelli, who stepped down last year shortly after the museum sold its Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects-designed building to the Museum of Modern Art for $31.2 million. Devoted to “the aesthetic appreciation of traditional folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad,” the museum moved to its current Lincoln Square location in July 2011.

Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Stella McCartney Nominated for British ‘Designer of the Year’


Fall 2012 looks from Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, and Stella McCartney.

As London designers wait in the wings for their turn on the global fashion stage, the British Fashion Council has announced the nominees for this year’s British Fashion Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony on November 27. In another across-the-pond fashion news, Net-a-porter’s Natalie Massenet has just been appointed chairman of the British Fashion Council. She’ll replace departing chairman Harold Tillman on January 1. “My experience is in merging extraordinary creative content with innovative global commerce,” said Massenet, who will retain her position as executive chairman of Net-a-porter. “From January, together with Caroline Rush [CEO of the British Fashion Council] and her team, I aim to apply these lessons to my new role, a role I take incredibly seriously.” And now for those nominees:

Emerging Talent Award – Ready-to-wear: J.W. Anderson, Michael van der Ham, Simone Rocha

Emerging Talent Award – Accessories: Dominic Jones, Jordan Askill, Sophie Hulme

Emerging Talent Award – Menswear: Agi & Sam (Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton), Jonathan Saunders, Lou Dalton
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Alan Brake Named Executive Editor of The Architect’s Newspaper

Big changes at The Architect’s Newspaper: an editorial changing of the guard will see managing editor Alan Brake (pictured) succeed Julie Iovine as executive editor on September 1. In a statement announcing the change, Diana Darling and William Menking, co-founders of The Architect’s Newspaper, praised Iovine’s “exceptional editorial leadership” and multi-faceted contributions over the last six years as she departs to focus on her own writing projects (she will continue to write a monthly column on architecture for the Wall Street Journal).

“We will miss her but are excited that a new generation of writers and editors under Alan’s leadership will rethink how we write about the world of architecture and design and deliver this content to the public,” added Menking. A five-year veteran of The Architect’s Newspaper, Brake launched the paper’s Midwest edition (one of three regional print editions). His writing has appeared in publications including Architectural Record, Metropolis, The New York Times, and Architecture, where he previously served as an editor. In the midst of the transition, Brake made time to discuss the paper, what changes might be in store, and what he did on his summer vacation—or lack thereof.

How do you describe The Architect’s Newspaper to someone who is unfamiliar with the publication?
We hope The Architect’s Newspaper is a useful, engaging, fun, and thought-provoking resource for architects and designers. People tell us we’re the design only publication they actually read—rather than just flip through for the pictures—so we have a very loyal print audience. It’s been satisfying to connect to a much broader audience online. We have a lot of ambition to expand online and will soon be adding a new e-newsletter or two.

Any new initiatives or features that we should watch for in The Architect’s Newspaper, in print or online, under your leadership?
I’d like to improve the way with tell stories visually, both in print and online. We hope to make some changes our website in the near future, and I want to make sure we’re using the best possible images in print. I also want to include more criticism, and to better showcase our critics.
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Museum Moves: New Director for Indianapolis Museum of Art, Curator Changes, Getty Launches App

Charles L. Venable (pictured) is the newly appointed director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. He starts on October 8. For the past five years, Veneble has served as director and CEO of Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, where his achievements include spearheading a planned 200,000-square-foot expansion featuring a new building for modern and contemporary art designed by wHY Architecture. The “new Speed,” which will include a new art park and piazza for outdoor sculpture, is slated to open in 2015 (meanwhile, 95% of the $50 million tab has already been raised). At the IMA, the venerable Venable will succeed Maxwell Anderson, who became director of the Dallas Museum of Art in January.

• Want to explore masterpieces from the Getty without looking up from your digital device? There’s an app for that. The new J. Paul Getty Museum Highlights of the Collections app (yours for $2.99) allows you to browse through 150 of the museum’s greatest hits, from Van Gogh’s “Irises” (your aunt loves this one so much she bought the tote bag) and Bernini’s sculpture of a “Boy with a Dragon” to Dorothea Lange’s migrant mother and a recently acquired Klimt drawing (happy 150th, Gustav!). Each of the objects is accompanied by a brief commentary and can be viewed in detail through high-definition images.

• Back in Gotham, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating a new attendance record: 6.28 million people visited the Met (including the Cloisters museum and gardens) during the fiscal year that ended on June 30—662,000 of those visitors stopped by last summer’s Alexander McQueen blockbuster, which also boosted the 2011 attendance numbers because of its timing. Virtual visitors are also on the rise, with the museum reporting 44 million to its website in fiscal year 2012.
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New Design Director for Road & Track

Zoom zoom. David Speranza will go from two wheels to four as he moves from Rodale’s Bicycling to Hearst’s Road & Track, where he has been named design director by editor-in-chief Larry Webster. Speranza will take over from departing design director Richard Baron and be responsible for all of the visuals across the car-obsessed brand’s platforms, including print, digital, and video. As design director at Bicycling since 2002, he helped the magazine broaden its readership beyond hard-core cyclists with a redesign and a snappy new logo. Speranza also produced photo shoots, oversaw photo research and editing, and art-directed its Mountain Bike quarterly. His previous experience includes roles at Elle, Golf for Women, and TV Guide. News of the appointment comes as Road & Track prepares for a road trip of its own (in a convoy of loaner Range Rovers, no doubt). This fall, the magazine will relocate its offices from Newport Beach, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Hearst-owned Car and Driver is also based.

Fresh Faces: New Director for Rose Art Museum, RISD Names Dean of Architecture and Design

• We’re still waiting for an opera devoted to the happenings of a few years ago at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum: secret meetings, deaccessioning schemes, legal threats, resignations, and finally, renovations! Having clarified the differences between an art museum and an ATM, the university is ready to restore the bloom to the Rose with a new director: Christopher Bedford (pictured), chief curator of exhibitions at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts. He’ll begin his new role on September 15 at the ripe old age of 35. Among his top priorities: to integrate the museum’s collection into the university’s curriculum and “to commission a major work of public sculpture for the exterior of the museum that connects to ideas of social engagement and social justice,” Bedford said in a recent interview. “Those concepts are central to my thinking and to the core ideology of Brandeis, too.”

• The Rhode Island School of Design looked across the ocean to find its new dean of architecture and design. Pradeep Sharma, who starts this fall, comes to Providence from England’s Bath Spa University. As head of the Bath School of Art and Design, he managed the school’s operations, finances, facilities, assessment, academic program development, as well as the student experience, all while maintaining his own ten-year-old design management and consultancy practice. With degrees in electrical and information sciences as well as industrial design engineering—and a doctorate in management in the works—he is as enthusiastic about digital technologies as he is about hands-on studio learning. “Pradeep brings a keen interest in howthe architecture and design disciplines can work together with the fine arts and the liberal arts to inform each other’s practice,” said RISD provost Rosanne Somerson in a statement announcing his appointment.
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Museum Moves: Paul Schimmel Out at LA MOCA; New Hires at Japan Society, UT’s Ransom Center


Footage of Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Mystery Circle: Explosion Event for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.” An exhibition of Cai’s work is on view through July 30 at MOCA.

• The divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is not the only L.A. break-up making headlines and raising eyebrows this summer Friday. Paul Schimmel, chief curator at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, has left the institution after 22 years. It’s not clear whether he resigned or was ousted, but according to a statement issued this evening by MOCA announcing Schimmel’s departure, the exhibition space at the Geffen Contemporary will be named in his honor.

• Back in New York, Miwako Tezuka will take over directorship of Japan Society’s gallery from Joe Earle, whose retirement is effective September 30. Formerly an associate curator at Asia Society, Tezuka will be the first Japanese director of Japan Society Gallery. She begins her new position on Monday.

• The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center has named Jessica S. McDonald, a curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as its new chief curator of photography. She starts in September.
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