Smithsonian Gallery Names New Director

Former MoCA chief takes over Hirshhorn after yearlong search
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2009 8:18 AM CST
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington has chosen Richard Koshalek, a veteran of California museums and institutions, as its new director.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – Richard Koshalek, former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, will become the new head of the Hirshhorn Museum—the modern gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Koshalek expanded MoCA over 20 years, leaving in 1999 to run the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Last year he left Art Center early, following protests by students and faculty over tuition increases and a $50 million library.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Koshalek said, "This is the perfect time and place in Washington where you have leadership from President Obama, who has an expanded view of the world." He is one of several recent top appointments at the Smithsonian galleries; the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of African Art have both appointed new directors in recent months.