It’s been a season of change for the country’s design curators and museum leaders. Caroline Baumann has been named director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, as it moves toward reopening following a two-year-plus renovation. A veteran of the museum, she has previously served as acting director, first after the departure of Paul Warwick Thompson, and then following the death of Bill Moggridge. As the renovation moves forward, by Gluckman Mayner, Baumann and her team are working with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro and Local Projects to “create a whole new museum experience.”
“I’m excited to be at the helm at this time,” Baumann told AN. “The reopening will really establish the museum as a design resource.” By moving the library into the museum-owned townhouses next door, the new Cooper-Hewitt will have almost 60 percent more gallery space. Reopening is planned for October 2014.
In other news, Holly Hotchner has stepped down as the director of the Museum of Arts and Design. Under her leadership, the museum relocated to its Columbus Circle home, and made design part of the institution’s purview. A search is underway for her replacement. Meanwhile on the west coast, SFMOMA has named Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher the head of the department of architecture and design, filling a position vacated by Henry Urbach more than two years ago. She will present an exhibition in Silicon Valley while that museum undergoes an expansion led by Snøhetta. In LA, Wim de Wit is departing as the head of architecture and contemporary art at the Getty Research Institute to take up an architecture and design curatorship at Stanford.
This fall, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will open new 10,000-square-foot galleries dedicated to design after 1945. Under the direction of senior curator R. Craig Miller, the museum has been building its design collection, which now includes more than 1,200 objects. The new galleries will open on November 21.