Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Raphaela Platow leaving Rose Art Museum

Raphaela Platow, chief curator of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum, is leaving to become director of Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center, beginning July 1.

This is a major loss for the Rose, as well as for Boston. Platow was instrumental in making the Rose the hottest museum for contemporary art around here. The 34-year-old organized the just-opened John Armleder exhibit, the recent Clare Rojas survey, last year’s Dana Schutz retrospective, 2005’s “Dreaming Now” and the 2004 Barry McGee survey.

The Contemporary Art Center is probably best known to art aficionados for being indicted on obscenity charges for the sexy photos in its 1990 Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit. The institution and its director were acquitted six months later. The 68-year-old institution moved into its first freestanding home, the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, in 2003. The building is notable as the first building the celebrated Iraqi-born, London-based architect Zaha Hadid got built in the United States. However since then, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, the institution “has seen the departure of two directors, two senior curators and other staffers.”

Platow, whom the Contemporary Art Center calls “one of the rising stars in the field of contemporary arts management,” has served as curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Kunstforum Munchen E.V. in Munich, Germany, her home town. She joined the Rose as a curator in 2002 and became its chief curator in early 2006. She served as the museum’s acting director after Rose director Joseph Ketner left in spring 2005 to become chief curator of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Michael Rush, who’d led the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art in Florida, was named director of the Rose in December 2005.

Platow’s move marks at least the third departure from the Rose's seven-member staff in the past year – the director of education and membership coordinator also left.


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