Arts Desk

Hirshhorn Chief Curator Kerry Brougher Leaves for the Academy Museum

640px-Hirshhorn_Museum_DC_2007

Kerry Brougher, chief curator for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, will run the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum, according to reports in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter

Brougher is the Hirshhorn's longest-serving curator. The acting director of the museum since last year's resignation of director Richard Koshalek, Brougher served under three other museum directors: James T. Demetrion, who led the museum from 1984 to 2001; Ned Rifkin, the former Hirshhorn chief curator who became the director in 2002 but left for the Castle the following year; and Olga Viso, a magnetic leader appointed in 2005 who served just two years. The leadership position eluded Brougher, who clashed with Koshalek.

As a curator, Brougher brought shows of great distinction to the Hirshhorn, including a well-regarded Yves Klein retrospective and the ground-breaking Ai Weiwei survey.

Brougher previously served as the director of the Museum of Modern Art (now Modern Art Oxford) in Oxford, England. Prior to that, he was a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for nearly two decades.

It's no surprise that Brougher leaves the Hirshhorn for the Academy Museum, given his career as a curator. In 2005, he co-curated (with MOCA Los Angeles) a major survey on synaesthesia called "Visual Music." Brougher is responsible for a two-part exhibition of media, film, and video called "The Cinema Effect," starring artists such as Runa Islam, Steve McQueen, and Paul Chan, a show that dominated the museum in 2008. "Damage Control," a show now on view at the Hirshhorn (and the culmination of many years of work by Brougher), leans heavily on film and media.

The Hirshhorn will announce its next director in late April or early May. That individual will have a great deal of influence in shaping the future of the Hirshhorn, if a director can be found who will stick to the position. Despite personalities such as Viso and Koshalek, it is Brougher who has guided the institution's character over the last decade.

Photo via Wikimedia, user Marku 1988, Creative Commons license

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  • Pepy

    So Hollywood gets Kerry Brougher and we get some shop worn Pierre Bagman? Maybe we can convince the Hirshhorn to hire Crystal Palmer as curator if we can get her to spell the word correctlym

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