Posts tagged with "Netherlands Architecture Institute":

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Cincinnati Art Museum seeks new director; Aaron Betsky steps down

Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum for seven years, announced Thursday he’ll step down. Cincinnati’s WVXU reported that the museum's board will set up a search committee, and that Betsky will help pick his successor. Betsky, an architect, oversaw the first phase of a renovation for which he helped raise more $13 million, and increased the art museum’s endowment by 18 percent. His leadership was at times controversial, as when he oversaw an exhibit by artist Todd Pavlisko that included firing a .30-caliber rifle in the 132-year-old museum’s Schmidlapp Gallery. Before moving to Cincinnati he was the Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, and previously designed for Frank Gehry. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Board chair Dave Dougherty said Betsky’s successor will need a variery of skills:
* "Someone great at exhibitions, first and foremost." * "Someone who continues to have financial discipline." * "People skills." Dougherty said the art museum is a large organization, with many tentacles, and a chance to influence the broader community. And, of course, there’s a director’s all-important fund-raising role.
Betsky was a finalist for dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois, Chicago last year. That position ultimately went to Steve Everett, an Emory University professor of music. “The museum now has the programming and staff in place, and the financial stability that will allow me to openly pursue my next position,” Betsky said in a press release. “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 experiences.”
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Future of the NAi in Question as New Director Takes Over

The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) was founded in the early 1990's and has been one of the world’s leading centers for promoting architecture and urban planning and improving public space. It is partially responsible for the high quality of contemporary Dutch design and planning. The institute was lead by the American curator and museum director Aaron Betsky until 2007 when Ole Bouman replaced him as the director. Recently, it was announced that NAi will no longer exist as a stand-alone architecture organization but will be merged into a new institute for architecture, design, and electronic culture. The new organization will, according to a statement from the Dutch government, "increase the value created by architecture, design and e-culture and the public's appreciation for it in the Netherlands and abroad." It will do this by emphasizing collaboration in the design fields and facilitating dialogue between the design disciplines and the larger society. It will communicate the disciplines’ richness to a mass audience through physical and online exhibitions. Details are vague about what will happen to the NAi’s programs in education, research, and archival collections. Guus Beumer has been named the new director. Beumer is known as the "initiator and art director of various fashion labels," and since 2006, the artistic director of NAiM/Bureau Europa in Maastricht. For years architects around the world have envied the Dutch model of professional integration into the creation of public space and modern cities, and the NAi (and also the threatened Berlage Institute) was a major player in encouraging this program. Let’s hope this does not mean the end of the Dutch experiment.