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Revolving Door: Michael Darling Takes Over as Chief Curator at Chicago’s MCA


Having survived perhaps the craziest year for any museum in the country, from losing $60 million in rent, then later finding that Nordstrom would move in to help cover the loss, all the while adjusting to a new director, the Seattle Art Museum‘s curator for modern and contemporary art, Michael Darling, has survived the trenches and has decided that now is the time to move on. He’s just signed on as the new chief curator for Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, starting in July. Darling will take over the role from Elizabeth Smith, though not directly, given that the museum’s been without anyone in the position since Smith resigned back in August of last year. And of course this all comes off the museum’s still-relatively new director, Madeleine Grynsztejn, who just came into her spot back in 2008. So new top blood all around. Here’s a bit of Darling talking to the NY Times about what differences he expects between his two most recent jobs:

“I’ve tried, in Seattle, to insert a very active contemporary art collection into an existing museum,” he said.

At Seattle, the emphasis was broader and more general. At the Chicago museum, he said, “I’m looking forward to being all contemporary, all the time.”

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