After an extensive international search, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) announces the appointment of Jorge Daniel Veneciano as its next Nanette L. Laitman Director. Veneciano, who most recently served as the Executive Director of New York City's El Museo del Barrio, will start at MAD on October 3, 2016, kicking off the Museum's 60th Anniversary year. He succeeds Glenn Adamson, who stepped down in March 2016.
"I have been enthralled with MAD ever since it opened on Columbus Circle," said Veneciano. "The Museum has been nothing short of magical in its presentations, and I'd like to see it reach more visitors and new audiences, to share with them the Museum's attention to the power of art in the making of worldly things. MAD is brimming with potential, and I am excited to work with its passionate board and staff in directing the Museum to its destiny of leadership among New York institutions."
"We are thrilled to welcome Daniel to MAD," stated Board Chair Michele Cohen. "In addition to strong leadership skills, he brings to the Museum decades of experience at national contemporary art institutions, and his vision will enable us to further connect with our diverse city and visitors."
Mike De Paola, Trustee and Chair of the Search Committee, added, "Daniel's arrival will support and expand upon the scholarship and vision of our Chief Curator, Shannon R. Stratton, allowing MAD to present cutting-edge and insightful exhibitions that showcase contemporary visual art and culture through the lens of craft."
Prior to joining El Museo, Veneciano served as the Director of the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska (2008–2013), where increasing diversity in visitorship and the permanent collection was a top priority. He achieved record attendance through fostering a network of community partnerships; expanding exhibitions, programming, and scholarly publications; and significantly growing the museum's collection. An accomplished curator as well, Veneciano worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem (1994–1999) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (1991–1994).
Born in Villa María, Argentina, Veneciano holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University; an MFA in Art with a Critical Studies emphasis from California Institute of the Arts; and a BA in Philosophy and Political Theory with an emphasis in Intellectual History from the University of California, Los Angeles. A scholar of modern and contemporary art, he has taught at Columbia and Rhode Island School of Design, and has edited and contributed to books including The Geometric Unconscious: A Century of Abstraction and Fabulous Harlequin: Orlan and the Patchwork Self. He is also the founding editor of artland, a statewide arts advocacy magazine for Nebraska. Veneciano's curatorial work includes The Naked Museum, which showcased the architecture of the Philip Johnson–designed Sheldon Museum, and Its Surreal Thing: The Temptation of Objects, an exhibition of surrealist sculpture.