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Denver Art Museum Appoints Christoph Heinrich as New Director
Christoph Heinrich is the new Director of the Denver Art Museum. Photo: Marc Piscotty, courtesy Denver Art Museum.

DENVER, CO.- Frederic C. Hamilton, Chairman of the Board of the Denver Art Museum, announced today the appointment of Christoph Heinrich as the new Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) beginning January 1, 2010. Heinrich has been deputy director of the DAM since January 2009 and the Polly and Mark Addison Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art since October 2007. Heinrich will replace Lewis I. Sharp following Sharp’s December 31, 2009, retirement after 20 years as director.

“Christoph brings outstanding leadership and creativity, a strong commitment to art and the mission of the Museum, global perspective and the respect of his colleagues and the community to his new post as director,” Hamilton said. “This appointment continues our tradition of naming innovative curators to lead the museum and set the artistic vision for the future. We were fortunate in that as our search began, we quickly identified someone within the institution who met our criteria and exceeded our expectations and we look forward to a seamless and successful transition period.”

With more than 15 years of experience in museums, Heinrich has organized more than 50 exhibitions including nearly 20 consisting of major loans from around the world. Heinrich came to Denver from Hamburg Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany, where he spent the last seven of his 13-year tenure as Chief Curator for Contemporary Art, Collections and Exhibitions. He attended the Universitat Wien in Vienna, where he studied Art History and Dramatics. He later attended Ludwig-Maximilian-Universitat München, where he earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. Heinrich is a member of the Warhol Authentication Board and came to Denver to fill the role of curator of modern and contemporary art after an international search.

Since then, he has organized a reinstallation of the 17,000-square-foot modern and contemporary galleries and the first American museum exhibition for German painter Daniel Richter. In November, the Museum will debut Heinrich’s latest project, Embrace!, one of the most ambitious exhibition projects in the Museum’s history featuring 17 site-specific works by contemporary artists from around the world.

“Working alongside Lewis Sharp for the last two years has been a tremendous experience and I look forward to building on that foundation as director,” said Heinrich. “The decision to come to Denver was motivated by the excitement and devotion to rich cultural experiences my wife Kira and I felt when we first visited and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to that energy. The Denver Art Museum is a product of the innovative spirit of this place—both in its physical structures and the commitment to fill them with adventure, discovery, bold ideas and beauty.”

Cathey Finlon will remain Interim President, a role she accepted in April 2009, with the goal of assisting the institution through this transition period.

Sharp will continue in his role as director through December 2009. He has served as director of the DAM for 20 years, during which he led the organization through a period of explosive growth that included tripling the size of the collection and nearly doubling the facility. The Museum will host a series of events from December 3-6, 2009, to honor Sharp’s contributions to the Museum and the community.

“Lewis Sharp has been an incredible museum director and a key leader in Denver’s cultural growth,” said Hamilton. “The institution has seen tremendous progress under his direction and we look forward to building upon his efforts under new leadership.”

Denver Art Museum | Frederic C. Hamilton | Christoph Heinrich | Jan Mayer |

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