The Gallery as a Classroom

Chris Bedford envisions new methods of engagement with the Rose Art Museum

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A native of Scotland who grew up in England and the United States, Chris Bedford is among the youngest museum directors in the United States. He rose rapidly through the ranks in the contemporary art world, acquiring a reputation as a visionary thinker about the role of art and museums in today’s world.

Last fall, Bedford became the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum. He envisions a museum that marries innovative exhibitions, pioneering scholarship and meaningful engagement with Brandeis faculty and students as well as contemporary art-lovers across Greater Boston.

Before he came to Brandeis, Bedford worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, Cleveland Artists Foundation, and the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, where he served as chief curator of exhibitions. He received national attention at the Wexner for major exhibitions such as “Hard Targets,” an examination of sports and masculinity featuring work by 75 artists from Christopher Burden to Matthew Barney; “Superficiality and Superexcrescence,” which earned him the Fellow of Contemporary Art Curators Award; and the first retrospective of painter Mark Bradford which was lauded by The New York Times during its visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston.

“Chris embodies Brandeis’ commitment to being a center of innovation and excellence in the study and exhibition of the visual arts,” says President Frederick Lawrence. “A great museum is part of a great university.”