Franklin Sirmans has been named the new director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), the board announced yesterday. Sirmans was formally the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) curator of contempory art and deparment head. In addition, he was Artistic Director of the 2014 Prospect New Orleans biennial exhibition "P3: Notes for Now".
Sirmans will assume his role as director of PAMM on October 15, 2015. His appointment was the result of an international search led by PAMM trustee Dennis Scholl, collector and former vice president/arts for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Franklin at PAMM’s helm," stated Scholl. "He brings with him experience at numerous large institutions and has a proven track record for galvanizing communities. All of that makes him the ideal person to lead the key museum in a city now renowned as an arts destination and home to a vibrant mix of cultures and traditions.”
Prior to LACMA, Sirmans was curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston and, before that, was a curatorial advisor at MoMA PS1 and a lecturer at Princeton University and Maryland Institute College of Art. Sirmans is the 2007 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize presented by the High Museum.
Prospect.3: Notes for the Now" presented the work of over 50 established and emerging contemporary artists in 18 venues across the city of New Orleans. Over its three month run, it attracted tens of thousands of visitors and generated an estimated $5-10 million of economic activity for New Orleans, according to PAMM.
Other notable projects include "Basquiat" at the Brooklyn Museum (2005); "Make it Now: New Sculpture in New York" at SculptureCenter (2005) and "One Planet Under A Groove: Contemporary Art and Hip Hop" which traveled from the Bronx Museum of the Arts to the Walker Art Center, the Spelman College Art Gallery in Atlanta and to Villa Stuck, Munich (2001-2003).
Aaron Podhurst, Chairman of PAMM's board, said: “Franklin has spearheaded notable exhibitions at major institutions across the country, and we look forward to having his creativity and unique vision at PAMM. We are also impressed by the leadership he brought to his role at Prospect New Orleans and the foresight he had in forming LACMA’s contemporary acquisitions committee, Contemporary Friends. The combination of these qualities make him an outstanding selection for the museum’s new director.”
Sirmans assumes leadership of PAMM in a time of momentum for the museum. PAMM opened its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in December 2013. Since then, the museum has grown its membership base to over 9,000 member households and has served over 70,000 students and children, making it the largest art education program in Miami-Dade County outside the school system, according to the museum. PAMM has reached 90 percent of its capital campaign goal with the recent announcement of receiving than $6 million in cash gifts, according to the museum.
Sirmans said, “I am so honored to be joining this exceptional museum and to lead this institution in its next phase at a pivotal time in the city’s growth full of tremendous opportunities for the museum and the city. I have long admired the museum’s history and was proud to have the "Neohoodoo" exhibition presented amidst the program. My family shares my enthusiasm for the city. Miami possesses unparalleled diversity and energy, qualities which define contemporary art and PAMM’s mission."
Copyright 2015 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.