by Steven Rosen
Former CAM director named new dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
Aaron Betsky, who stepped down from his post as Cincinnati Art Museum
director last year, has a new job: Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School
of Architecture. The school, which offers M.Arch
degrees, offers graduate students educational training at Taliesin in
Spring Grove, Wisc., and Taliesin West in Arizona. It is an evolution of
the Taliesin Fellowship program created by Wright in 1932. Betsky, in
addition to his curatorial and leadership experience at art and
architecture museums, was trained as an architect at Yale University.In
a press release, Maura Grogan, chair of the Frank Lloyd Wright School's
Board of Governors, said, "We sought a Director who, like Wright,
relishes invention, challenge, and discovery; someone who is excited to
chart architecture's next frontier; a person who in a time of conformity
understands the beauty of idiosyncrasy; a leader who is ready to speak
enthusiastically and persuasively to a profession in need of direction.
It is clear to us that Aaron is that person."Betsky succeeds Victor Sidy, dean since 2005, who is stepping down to return to his architectural practice. Betsky
will lead a fundraising campaign to help the school become an
autonomous independent subsidiary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation,
as required by the Higher Learning Commission for it to continue its
accreditation."I look forward to continuing
the tradition of experimental architecture (Wright) did so much to
define by helping new generations to discover how they can use design to
make our world better," Betsky said in the release.
by Steven Rosen
at 08:06 AM | Permalink
Cameron Kitchin to take over Oct. 1
The Cincinnati Art Museum on Tuesday announced in this press release its new director, who is replacing Aaron Betsky. The latter announced his resignation late last year and left his post in May.CINCINNATI - JULY 29, 2014 – The Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Art Museum today unanimously voted to name Cameron Kitchin as the museum’s director. Kitchin, a nationally recognized innovator and leader in the museum field, comes to Cincinnati from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tenn., where he served as director. Kitchin will begin in his new position on Oct. 1. He will report to the museum’s Board of Trustees.“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Art Museum, I am excited to announce the appointment of Cameron Kitchin as our new director,” said Marty Ragland, president of the Board of Trustees and co-leader of the search committee. “From Day 1, our members and patrons, as well as members of our search committee, board and staff, agreed that, in addition to being an accomplished museum leader, our new director must have a passion for art, be a strategic thinker and embrace our city with the goal of bringing people to the enjoyment of art. We found these qualities and many more in Cameron.”Kitchin will oversee the entire institution, including collections, staff, facilities, exhibitions, research resources, education and outreach programs, external relations, fundraising and administrative activities. As an arts and cultural leader, Kitchin will initiate, maintain and develop new partnerships and collaborations in Cincinnati, the state and the region to enhance and support the Cincinnati Art Museum’s mission to bring people and art together in ways that transform everyday lives and the community.Kitchin’s appointment comes at the end of a nearly seven-month search by the committee led by Ragland and board chairman Dave Dougherty. The Board of Trustees also hired professional search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, to help guide the process. Kitchin won the unanimous vote of the search committee prior to going to the board vote."I am greatly honored to be appointed to serve as director of the Cincinnati Art Museum,” Kitchin shared. “I look forward to joining with the Cincinnati community to grow the museum's role in the life of our new city. I have long admired the Art Museum’s exhibitions, programs, collections and transformative educational initiatives. I am excited now to lead a team of talented professionals and supporters, with our dedicated trustees, to expand the impact and to broaden the reach of the museum to serve all Cincinnatians."Kitchin led the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, one of the South’s leading art museums, for six years. He oversaw the growth of the museum as a community-based institution, leveraging the museum’s significant collections and history to forge new partnerships with a wide network of cultural institutions, educational entities, universities and social service agencies. Under his leadership, the Brooks engaged in rigorous new educational initiatives, pursued exciting original scholarship and successfully achieved broad appeal in exhibitions and programs. Kitchin led the museum through two comprehensive strategic plans, a capital plan and a groundbreaking program in early childhood education in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. Other significant new achievements included art therapy, Alzheimer’s services, teen art programs and overhauls of critical museum systems, collections databases and security infrastructure. Kitchin’s innovations and effectiveness in reaching new audiences across the entire community, building bridges through public service and leading a diverse and talented professional museum team drew the attention of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s search committee. In addition, Kitchin’s use of technology as a tool for exploring art and his creative public programming impressed the museum’s board.Prior to joining the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Kitchin served as executive director of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the statewide contemporary art museum in Virginia. During his six years there, he led the museum through a comprehensive institutional revitalization, increased visitation and achieved a balanced budget every year. He also mounted numerous acclaimed exhibitions of national and international note while simultaneously opening the doors to new audiences through creative programming. His successful completion of a major capital campaign and commitment to social discourse at the museum raised the museum to new heights during his tenure.Previously, Kitchin managed Economics Research Associates’ national consulting practice for museums and cultural attractions for three years in Washington, D.C., and led the economics component of Washington’s Museums and Memorials Master Plan, as well as studies for the Newseum and National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. In previous engagements, he directed the American Alliance of Museums’ strategic planning process, headed AAM’s national political campaign in support of museums and led a complex digital copyright initiative for museums.Kitchin is an active member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and has served on numerous task forces, including one on AAMD’s national standards on deaccessioning and broadened and diversified the membership of the association as an appointee to the AAMD membership committee. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Harvard University in 1993 and an MBA with a concentration in not-for-profit and museum management from the Mason Graduate School of Business, William & Mary in 1999. Kitchin was also selected from among top international museum professionals to participate as a residential program fellow in the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leadership Institute, the most rigorous and longest-established academic program for interdisciplinary museum leadership, in 2008. He is also an AAM accreditation peer reviewer, an IMLS national grant panelist and an active leader in numerous professional associations and societies.Kitchin will relocate to Cincinnati this fall. He will be joined by his wife Katie - a national public policy expert in homelessness and child and family wellbeing - and his three young children, ages 10, 7 and 3.
1 Comment · Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Overall, I really enjoyed the Cincinnati
Art Museum under Aaron Betsky, the director who announced his
resignation Jan. 2 and will stay until a replacement is found. But there
were a couple weaknesses that ought to be addressed by a successor,
with the support of the trustees.
by Jac Kern
The Cincinnati Art Museum announced today that Aaron Betsky will be stepping down as director of the museum. Betsky, who has worked as director at CAM for seven years, will leave the position once his successor is determined.From the press release:
"The museum now has the programming and staff in place, and the financial
stability that will allow me to openly pursue my next position," noted Mr.
Betsky. "I feel that I have accomplished the goals that I and the Board
had envisioned when I first arrived and would like to explore opportunities
that may include or combine my academic interests and institutional
experience."The CAM Board of Trustees is assembling a search committee to find a successor. Betsky will assist in this decision.
"Aaron has effectively led the Cincinnati Art Museum through one of
the most challenging periods in our history and did so while adding new
facilities, growing our program, attracting record audiences, and raising money
both for capital projects and our endowment," said Dave Dougherty,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees. "He brought a vision, energy and
acumen that will continue to serve the museum into the future."
Go here to read CityBeat's recent interview with Betsky, wherein the the director discusses changes and challenges at CAM.
1 Comment · Monday, December 23, 2013
My interview with Aaron Betsky, Cincinnati
Art Museum director, came about because I was impressed by a series of
small shows and changes I had noticed at CAM recently
by Steven Rosen
On Monday, Cincinnati Art Museum announced the resignation of James Crump, its chief curator and photography curator. He arrived at the museum in 2008. A press release said he would "pursue independent projects." The press release also included high praise for Crump from Aaron Betsky, museum director: "We are so grateful for the great work James has done here in Cincinnati. His exhibitions and acquisitions have made us a center for photography, and we look forward to building on his extraordinary achievements."One of those achievements, the exhibition James Welling: Monograph, just opened Feb. 2. Crump was also a leader in the organization of last year's multi-venue FotoFocus photography festival, and Cincinnati Art Museum sponsored two of its biggest shows — Herb Ritts: L.A. Style and Doug and Mike Starn's Gravity of Light.The museum said an interim chief curator will be named soon. Recently, the Italian art-book publisher Damiani launched a new line of Damiani / Crump books. It begins in March with Empire Falling, photographer Elena Dorfman's study of Midwest rock quarries.
by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 02:44 PM | Permalink
The firing of a high-powered rifle inside the Cincinnati Art
Museum, sending a bullet past masterpieces through the first-floor Schmidlapp
Gallery and into a block of bronze in the middle of the Great Hall, will occur
on Monday, museum officials said.
Todd Pavlisko, the New York-based, locally born artist who
proposed the project, will be at the museum Friday for final planning and
discussions. (CityBeat will interview him for a story in next week’s Big
The museum has refused to allow press — or the public — to
witness the actual event, for security concerns, according to Director Aaron
Betsky. It also won’t say what time it will occur. The male sharpshooter who
will fire the high-powered rifle from a mounted stand also doesn’t want to be
identified. The museum normally is closed to the public on Monday.
A spokeswoman said the museum will be on “lockdown” for the
event. Those who will attend the actual shooting include the artist and the
sharpshooter, Betsky and Chief Curator James Crump and several others. A
Cincinnati police officer also will be present, a requirement of the City
Council ordinance permitting the event.
According to an earlier press release, which did not set a
specific date for the actual rifle shot, Pavlisko’s project is an outgrowth of
his work with photography and video. This will reference the work of Harold
Edgerton, whose photographs capturing bullets passing through fruit and
droplets of milk have become masterpieces for making visible that which the
naked eye could not see. Pavlisko’s idea is to contrast the flight of the
bullet with the timeless nature of the masterpieces on display in the
Schmidlapp Gallery. (The bullet will be 12 feet from any actual artwork.)
High-speed cameras and video equipment will document the
shot, and the resultant work will be on display May 25-Sept. 22 in a show
called Crown. So, too, will the
36-inch cast brass cube, or what remains of it, as the bullet strikes it.
Greater Cincinnati's arts scene is strong, but here are a few ways it can be made even stronger
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The charge to local arts leaders and CityBeat writers was simple yet also complex and difficult: What is the one thing you would change or add to the local arts scene to make it better? Well, maybe it wasn't worded quite so bluntly, but that was the point. There are plenty of exciting things happening locally in the arts; what should be next?
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Hopefully, by the time you read this (or shortly thereafter) the Cincinnati Art Museum will have opened 'Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry,' the twice-delayed exhibition of more than 100 turn-of-20th-Century pieces from the finest American and European designers and jewelers.
Chinese animal paintings roar, leap and fly into the Cincinnati Art Museum
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
When is a tiger not just a tiger? An eagle more than an eagle? When they're painted as messages about social and political conditions, philosophies about leadership and cultural values. This was the case during the Chinese Imperial Court between the 11th and 19th centuries, when its painters used animals as symbols. Many of the meanings of these images had been lost, but Hou-Mei Sung, curator of Asian art at the Cincinnati Art Museum, has rediscovered them.