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Ann Temkin Appointed Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art
Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo Credit: Robin Holland.

NEW YORK.- Ann Temkin has been appointed The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, it was announced today by MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry. In this role, Ms. Temkin will guide all aspects of the department, including its installations, acquisitions, exhibitions, and loan programs.

Ms. Temkin has served as The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA since 2003. She succeeds John Elderfield, who retired in July and has assumed the position of Chief Curator Emeritus.

A noted scholar of modern and contemporary art, Ms. Temkin brings an innovative approach to art history, as well as an ability to connect art and audiences.

“After an extensive, international search, Ann was clearly the best candidate to lead the department,” said Mr. Lowry. “She is an outstanding curator who has already played an important role at the Museum. She brings to this position a breadth of knowledge and passion for modern and contemporary art that is exemplary and that is matched by her gifted scholarship and ability to work with colleagues across the institution and beyond.”

“I am honored to take the helm of this legendary department and feel fortunate to be doing so at this particular moment,” Ms. Temkin said. “Today we are in a strong position to challenge ourselves and our audiences. I look forward to working with my colleagues throughout the institution, using its extraordinary resources to raise questions, offer surprises, and invite new ways of looking.”

Ms. Temkin has played a key role in the Museum’s acquisition of important works by artists such as Matthew Barney, Joseph Beuys, Robert Gober, Roni Horn, Donald Judd, Gordon Matta-Clark, Rosemarie Trockel, and Kara Walker. She has also prioritized collecting the work of younger artists, including new work by Martin Creed, Rachel Harrison, Lucy McKenzie, Jim Lambie, Wade Guyton, and Kelley Walker, and was instrumental in bringing to the Museum the gift of outstanding bodies of works by Philip Guston and Vija Celmins, among many others, from the collection of Edward R. Broida.

Upon her arrival at MoMA, Ms. Temkin worked closely with Mr. Elderfield and curators in the department to plan and implement the reinstallation of MoMA’s painting and sculpture collection in the newly renovated and expanded museum, which opened in 2004. She has organized the exhibitions Contemporary Voices: Works from the UBS Art Collection (2005), New Work/New Acquisitions (co-curator, 2005), Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection (2006), Projects 83: Monika Sosnowska (2006), and most recently Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today (2008), which will be recreated at Tate Liverpool in May of next year.

Earlier this year, Ms. Temkin reinstalled several of the painting and sculpture collection galleries, including those devoted to Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, and Post-Minimalism, and organized one of the Museum’s “Focus” series installations with a gallery devoted to the work of Joseph Beuys.

In 2009, Ms. Temkin will coordinate the New York presentation of Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective, an exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and is preparing an exhibition of the work of Gabriel Orozco, which will open at MoMA in December 2009, before traveling to the Kunstmuseum Basel; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; and Tate Modern, London.

Ms. Temkin began her career as a curatorial assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA from 1984 until 1987. She then joined the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she was the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art from 1990 until 2003. Her exhibitions and catalogues there include Barnett Newman (2002), Alice Neel (2000-2001), Raymond Pettibon (co-curator, 1998), Joseph Cornell/ Marcel Duchamp … in resonance (co-curator, 1998), Constantin Brancusi (co-curator, 1995), and Thinking is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys (co-curator, 1993). Ms. Temkin also initiated the series “Museum Studies,” commissioning new work by artists including Sherrie Levine, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Richard Hamilton. She directed the renovation of the modern and contemporary galleries at PMA and edited and co-authored the accompanying book Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ms. Temkin has contributed to numerous books and catalogues for a broad range of institutions, such as The Menil Collection, The Walker Art Center, The Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and The Getty Conservation Institute. In addition, she has written extensively for many art journals and has participated widely in panels and lecture series at museums and other venues in the United States and abroad.

Ms. Temkin was born in Connecticut and received a B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Yale University. She has been active in many organizations and committees that support the arts, including serving as a founding trustee of the Association of Art Museum Curators.




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