Spanning the globe, or at least the continent, we bring you news of freshly appointed directors at two esteemed art institutions. Klaus Biesenbach, he of the consummate curatorial skill and ultra-minimalist apartment, has been named director of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, part of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 2000. He succeeds P.S.1 founding director Alanna Heiss, who retired last year. Biesenbach, currently chief curator of media and performance art at MoMA and chief curatorial advisor at P.S.1, takes office as director in January, when he will also become MoMA’s chief curator at large. In the meantime, Biesenbach is busy putting the finishing touches on the 2010 MoMA retrospective of the work of Marina Abramovic and co-organizing the New York installation of the touring exhibition “William Kentridge: Five Themes,” opening at MoMA in February.
Over in Seattle, Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, former director of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, is the new director of the Frye Art Museum, which was established in the 1950s as a private foundation and museum. Its founding collection focuses on late 19th and early 20th century European art with an emphasis on artists associated with the Munich Secession. Last year, Birnie Danzker curated the museum’s 2009 “Munich Secession and America” show, which taught us the word Künstlergenossenschaft. Bringing things full circle, she served as exhibition director of “The Short Century” and shown at the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and…P.S.1.