The Renaissance Society has appointed Solveig Øvstebø as its new executive director
Solveig Øvstebø has been named as the executive director of The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. It is the first time the contemporary art museum has made such an appointment in nearly 40 years.
Ms Øvstebø, who is currently director of the leading Norwegian art space Bergen Kunsthall, will take up her new post in June 2013, taking over Susanne Ghez, who has been at The Renaissance Society since 1974. Ms Ghez will remain involved with the institution, though it is unknown in what capacity exactly.
The announcement was made by Greg Cameron, president of the museum, who described Ms Øvstebø as being someone who has “demonstrated her curatorial power with intellectual power”.
“Solveig has a strong artistic vision along with experience in building an institution,” added Ms Ghez.
“She will be an outstanding leader for The Renaissance Society as it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2015. She comes to Chicago with a demonstrated commitment to supporting artists who are creating important new work.”
Ms Øvstebø’s responsibilities will include acting as chief curator and managing the overall operations, which will involve organising exhibitions, dealing with logistics like art storage, arranging programmes and initiating ideas for growth.
“I am very excited and honoured to take on the task of directing The Renaissance Society, an institution that I have followed and admired for so long,” she commented.
“With its artistic independence, uncompromising programming and the will to let artists work in-depth with new art production, The Renaissance Society forms a unique platform in the contemporary institutional landscape.”
It marks something of a homecoming for Ms Øvstebø, who was born in Chicago in 1973. She has built up a reputation as a distinguished curator with innate talent – after all, she took up the top spot at Bergen Kunsthall when she was only 29.
“The board is excited to bring her to Chicago, confident that our city’s cultural landscape, and the art community around the world, will be enriched by her contributions,” Mr Cameron concluded.