Claudia Schmuckli to join Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco as Curator-in-Charge, Contemporary Art and Programming

Claudia Schmuckli

Claudia Schmuckli, photo courtesy of dabfoto

SAN FRANCISCO (July 6, 2016)—The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce the appointment of Claudia Schmuckli as Curator-in-Charge, Contemporary Art and Programming. Ms. Schmuckli joins the Fine Arts Museums from the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, where she is Director and Chief Curator.

“I am excited that Claudia will join our team of extraordinary curators to augment our contemporary collection, programming and outreach,” states Max Hollein, Director, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Widening our contemporary perspective is among several priorities for the Museums. With our broad and diverse collections and multiple platforms for programmatic exchange—from exterior courtyards and major galleries to theater spaces—the de Young and Legion of Honor offer a wide range of possibilities for a unique contemporary program in the Bay Area. Given Claudia’s long experience in a variety of museum environments and her pioneering expertise in the contemporary field, she is a perfect match for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.”

Schmuckli has been Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum since 2009, having joined the staff there in 2004 as Director of Public Relations and Membership and was appointed to Curator in 2006. At Blaffer, Schmuckli has forged a reputation as a pivotal figure in the presentation of contemporary art. Her notable projects include: Analia Saban (2016), Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes (2016), Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler: Sound Speed Marker (2015), Candice Breitz: The Woods (2014), Tony Feher (2012), Gabriel Kuri: Nobody Needs to Know the Price of Your Saab (2010), Existed: Leonardo Drew (2009), Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space (2008), Amy Sillman: Suitors & Strangers (2007) and Urs Fischer: Mary Poppins (2006).

Prior to the Blaffer Art Museum, Ms. Schmuckli worked in New York as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Modern Art from 1999 through 2003 and as a Curatorial Assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 1997 through 1999. She holds a Master of Arts degree in art history from the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany.

"I am thrilled to join Max Hollein and the excellent staff of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco at such a critical institutional juncture,” says Schmuckli. "The de Young and Legion of Honor are among the most renowned art institutions on the West Coast, with a long-standing reputation for showcasing art from the ancient to the contemporary. I look forward to building on that legacy, while implementing a new program of exhibitions and initiatives to activate the buildings and collections, shape the contemporary art discourse, and redefine the nature of public engagement throughout both museums.”

Ms. Schmuckli will begin her tenure on September 1, 2016.

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and, like that structure, was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. Its holdings span 4,000 years and include European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It holds the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

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