The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dr. Ned Rifkin Resigns as Director of the Blanton Museum of Art

AUSTIN, TX.- Dr. Ned Rifkin, director of the Blanton Museum of Art, will resign from that position May 31 to commit full time to scholarly work and teaching at The University of Texas at Austin.

Rifkin, director of the museum since May 2009, also holds a position as professor of art and art history in the Department of Art and Art History in the university’s College of Fine Arts. This spring semester, he has been teaching a special junior seminar on the year 1962 as part of the Plan II Program.

“I began my professional career in 1977 as an assistant professor of art at The University of Texas at Arlington,” Rifkin said. “Currently, I have been leading a junior seminar in the Plan II Program here at UT Austin and I had forgotten how much I love to work closely with students on developing their learning skills.

“Much as I will miss working with the outstanding staff at The Blanton, I believe my eagerness to teach more and my desire to pursue meaningful research on a variety of topics will better suit me. I wish every possible success to The Blanton as it continues to offer quality programs to transform lives through art.”

Prior to his role at The Blanton, Rifkin was undersecretary for art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and directed the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Menil Collection and Foundation in Houston and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Executive Vice President and Provost Steven Leslie said the university appreciates the extensive knowledge and creativity that Rifkin has provided the Blanton Museum of Art. Leslie said Rifkin has challenged staff to explore new possibilities for interpretation and presentation of the museum's collection, and has enhanced student involvement with the museum.

Leslie said he has appointed Simone Wicha, the Blanton Museum’s deputy director for external affairs and operations, as the new director, effective June 1.

“The university is fortunate, indeed, that Simone Wicha will become the director of the Blanton Museum,” Leslie said. “She is deeply skilled and knowledgeable in the visual arts and she will lead the Blanton Museum of Art to the highest levels of excellence.”

"I am confident that Simone will do an outstanding job as director of the Blanton Museum of Art," said William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. “During her tenure at the museum, she has impressed the university's administration and the Museum Council and she has our strongest support in her leadership of The Blanton, one of the foremost university art museums in the country."

“The invitation to serve as the fifth director of the Blanton Museum of Art is a great honor,” Wicha said. “The Blanton’s notable collection, original programs and research, talented staff and eminence – as a university museum and a cultural force in Austin – make my new role an exciting challenge. I look forward to building on the nearly 50-year legacy of excellence and innovation at the museum.”

Wicha has been The Blanton’s deputy director for external affairs and operations since last year, overseeing 37 full-time employees and efforts related to development, membership, visitor services, marketing and public relations, facility rentals and human resources, as well as the management of the museum's cafe and shop. Her commitment to student outreach and to modernizing the museum’s technologies will remain top priorities in her new position, she said. She has also initiated an audience research and rebranding process for the museum scheduled to begin in the next year.

Wicha came to the museum in 2006 as director of development. She led the successful completion of a $83.5 million building campaign and the implementation of an annual giving program that increased fund raising to $2 million per year and increased membership to 10,000 households in the inaugural year of the new building complex.

Prior to her positions at The Blanton, Wicha was director of development for the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in Long Island City, Queens, and director of annual giving for the Julliard School in New York City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed the Institute of Arts Management Certificate Program at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She was accepted in 2010 to the prestigious Museum Leadership Institute at The Getty Leadership Institute in California a course that provides a strategic perspective to the problems and opportunities facing today's museums.

Today's News

May 2, 2011

Archaeologists Discover Stairway with Maya Hieroglyphs in the Mexican State of Campeche

Exhibition of Recent Paintings by Mark Tansey at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills

Yad Vashem National Holocaust Memorial Starts Collecting Holocaust Items

First Comparative Exhibition of Chaim Soutine and Francis Bacon at Helly Nahmad Gallery

World's Most Famous Office Building, Empire State Building, Celebrates 80th Anniversary

Still a Best-Seller, the King James Bible is Being Celebrated on Its 400th Anniversary

KOW Berlin Brings Cady Noland and Santiago Sierra Together for Exhibition     

Yardbirds Guitarist Chris Dreja to Display Historical Photographs at ZepFest, Memorial Day

Painter Joan Mitchell Finally Gets Her Due in New Alfred A. Knopf Book by Patricia Albers

Curator Peter Galassi to Retire From the Museum of Modern Art After 30 Years

Artists Paint Over One Thousand Stark Portraits of Chinese Corrupt and Disgraced Officials

Alyson Baker Named Ninth Director of Connecticut's Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Street Art Exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Prompts Praise and Concern

North America's Finest Artists Return to NYC for Fourth Annual Fine Art Show and Sale

Seminal Hiraki Sawa Videos Reveal Unique Voice at Michigan's Kresge Art Museum

Carlier Gebauer Presents First Solo Exhibition of Italian Artist Rosa Barba

Exhibition of New Sculptures by Artist Tony Cragg at Buchmann Galerie in Berlin

About Face: Portraiture as Subject, a Unique Exhibition Organized by The Blanton

First Italian Solo Show of the Swiss Artist Reto Pulfer at Pastificio Cerere Foundation

Quilt Paintings by Texas Artist Sedrick Huckaby on View at the Tyler Museum of Art

Exhibition of Books of the Republic of Venice at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Ten-Year Survey of the Work of Betsabeé Romero on View at the Neuberger Museum of Art

Sotheby's London to Offer the Historic Rules of Club Football and Sheffield FC Memorabilia

Peabody Museum Names Miki Kratsman as the 2011 Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography

Dr. Ned Rifkin Resigns as Director of the Blanton Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art Selects Maryland-Based Firm Ziger/Snead for Major Renovation

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful