Jeffrey Weiss, curator and head, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., to join Dia

Feb 20, 2007

New York, NY–The Board of Trustees of Dia Art Foundation today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Weiss, curator and head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as Dia’s new director. Mr. Weiss, who assumes his post in late-spring 2007, succeeds Michael Govan, who became director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Nathalie de Gunzburg, chairman of Dia’s Board of Trustees, states, “We are thrilled that Jeffrey Weiss will join us as director of Dia Art Foundation. Jeffrey’s deep knowledge of modern and contemporary art, combined with his understanding of the important role of cultural institutions in contemporary society, will be critically important to Dia as we move into the next phase of our development. I know that I speak for all of my colleagues when I say how much we look forward to working with Jeffrey.”

Mr. Weiss says, “I am deeply honored to become director of Dia Art Foundation, one of the world’s most vital and pioneering institutions devoted to contemporary art. Dia fulfills a crucial role among arts organizations, showing an extraordinary commitment to serving art and artists. Indeed, by keeping artists at the center of its activities, Dia has facilitated projects and installations that might otherwise never have been realized. Dia’s identity is now both historical and forward looking—a perfect platform on which to build.”

Mr. Weiss joins Dia, which was founded in 1974, at a pivotal period in its history. In May 2003 the institution launched Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, a museum in Beacon, New York, where Dia displays its world-renowned collection of art from the 1960s to today, and presents special exhibitions and public programming. To date, Dia:Beacon has drawn some 330,000 visitors. Mr. Weiss will lead the organization as it enters a new stage, redeveloping its New York City program while continuing both to present its schedule at Dia:Beacon and maintain long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States and New York City, as well as on Long Island.

Mr. Weiss brings to Dia significant experience as a museum professional and scholar. At the National Gallery, where he has worked since 1994, he has organized numerous exhibitions, edited and contributed to their catalogues, and overseen a vigorous acquisitions program. Most recently, he organized Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting 1955–65, which opened at the National Gallery on January 28, 2007. In addition, in 2004 he worked with Dia to bring to the Gallery the first presentation of the internationally touring Dan Flavin retrospective, which was organized by Dia in association with the Gallery. Other exhibitions that he has organized or co-organized at the National Gallery include Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier (2003), Cy Twombly: The Sculpture (2001), and Mark Rothko (1998). He has also devoted considerable attention to building the collection in art from the 1960s and 1970s. Under his tenure as department head, the National Gallery has acquired important early and classic-period works by Flavin, as well as Mel Bochner, Lee Bontecou, Marcel Broodthaers, Robert Gober, On Kawara, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Morris, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, James Turrell, Andy Warhol, and numerous other artists of the period.

Prior to being named curator and head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Gallery, Mr. Weiss served as associate curator and assistant curator in the department; from 1991 to 1993, he was a research associate and associate research curator at the Gallery. He is currently the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where he is leading a graduate seminar and, where, this spring, he will deliver public lectures on the art of the 1960s and 1970s at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mr. Weiss has lectured and published widely. His writing has appeared in numerous catalogues and books, as well as in a number of prestigious magazines. He has additionally served as editor of several exhibition catalogues, and regularly participates in and organizes scholarly conferences and symposia. The latter includes the major symposium Dan Flavin: New Light, resulting in a book recently published by the National Gallery and Yale University Press for which Mr. Weiss served as editor and contributor.

Jeffrey Weiss received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 1991, and a B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in June 1980.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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