ANTONIA CARVER, who was appointed the new director of Art Dubai in June, 2010. Courtesy Art Dubai.

Career Moves: Still Wanted

Even as prudent institutions keep their budgets in check, top curators and institutional directors continue to be in demand, some moving halfway around the world for new posts, others changing desks across town. 

The first half of 2010 saw new appointments for top positions in Singapore’s art institutions. In March, art historian and curator Charles Merewether was chosen to head the Institute of Contemporary Art at LaSalle College of the Arts. Alan Chong of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum became the director of the Asian Civilizations Museum in May. Artist Noor Effendy Ibrahim was appointed the director of the Substation.

In Australasia, Frank Puletua, a professional rugby player and artist, accepted a position as the creative producer for Casula Powerhouse, just outside of Sydney. In November, Suhanya Raffel, formerly the curatorial manager of Asian and Pacific art at Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery, became the deputy director of the gallery’s curatorial and collection development. Curator Maura Reilly was appointed the head of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. 

Arriving from Cardiff, Michael Houlihan, director general of the National Museum of Wales, was selected as the chief executive of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The museum also named Heather Galbraith of City Gallery Wellington as its senior curator. 

Several high-profile moves to Hong Kong included Graham Sheffield of London’s Barbican Centre, named the CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) project. Moderna Museet director Lars Nittve was appointed the executive director of M+, a new museum planned for the WKCD. The Central Police Station Revitalization project announced Berlin-based curator David Elliott as its arts adviser in July.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum director Hsieh Hsiao-yun was chosen to head the Department of Cultural Affairs under the Taipei city government, succeeding vice-mayor Lee Yong-ping in March.

Elsewhere in museums, J. Paul Getty Museum director Michael Brand became a consultant for the Aga Khan Development Network, and is slated to become director of the Aga Khan museum of Islamic arts in Toronto, opening in 2013. In New York, Alexandra Munroe was named the first Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim.

In the Middle East, Dubai-based journalist and curator Antonia Carver was picked as the director of Art Dubai. In Israel, curator Ruti Direktor was appointed the director of the Haifa Museum of Art. 

Moving out, instead of in, is Thomas Krens, who departed the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project, on which he was
the senior adviser. 

Getting a head start on 2012, curators Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster were named artistic directors of the next Biennale of Sydney.