Rose Art Museum leader named director of Baltimore Museum of Art

Photo/Mike Lovett

Christopher Bedford, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum, will leave Brandeis on July 31 to become the next director of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Bedford came to Brandeis in September 2012 and helped establish the Rose as one of the world’s premier university museums dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century art. He integrated the museum with the university in ways that foster exhilarating and thought-provoking experiences for the Brandeis community and beyond.

“We all know how much the Rose and Brandeis have benefited from Chris’ visionary leadership,” said Interim President Lisa Lynch.

“Chris made sure the programs at the Rose always reflected Brandeisian values of social justice while also enhancing the work that was happening in academic departments all across the campus,” said Lisbeth Krupp, chair of the Rose board of advisors.

Bedford directed the Rose during a transformational chapter in its life. Today, the museum’s uncertain days are behind it. It has a vigorous, engaged board of advisors, and a renewed well of support from the university, the art world and the community. Its visibility and standing have never been higher, said Lynch.

The Rose’s recent selection as the U.S. Pavilion curator at the 2017 Venice Biennale, the culmination of an intensive effort that Bedford managed, is widely acknowledged as a coup in the international art world.

The Rose will retain its commissioning and curatorial role at the U.S. Pavilion, which will showcase the work of abstract painter Mark Bradford. Likewise, Bedford will continue as commissioner of the Biennale exhibition after he moves to his new position at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and will continue to work with Brandeis students and faculty on the preparations for the Biennale. 

Perry Traquina ’78, chair of the Brandeis Board of Trustees, said, “The installation of the ‘Light of Reason’ sculpture as a public-art portal to the Rose represents how Chris saw the museum — as a beacon that could illuminate both the art world and this university’s bold, ambitious ideals.”

On August 1, deputy director Kristin Parker, who has worked at the Rose for six years, will become the museum’s interim director, working with curator Kim Conaty, who joined the Rose in December and the entire Rose staff.

The university will now undertake a search process for the next director of the Rose. The search committee will be composed of representatives from the Rose’s board of advisors, the faculty and staff, the student body, and the Brandeis University board of trustees.

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art is home to more than 90,000 works, from artifacts created by ancient cultures to contemporary masterpieces. Over the past two years, the museum completed a $28 million building renovation that revitalized exhibition spaces, improved research and teaching, and allows the use of new technologies.

Categories: Arts

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