Guggenheim has new director

September 22, 2005|By los angeles times

Lisa Dennison, a 27-year veteran of the Guggenheim organization, will succeed the outspoken Thomas Krens as director of New York's Guggenheim Museum.

Dennison, 52, currently deputy director and chief curator for the museum, will take over as director Oct. 1 while continuing to serve as chief curator for the Guggenheim museums worldwide.

Krens, who for 17 years led both the New York museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation -- which also operates museums in Bilbao, Spain; Berlin; Venice, Italy; and Las Vegas -- will continue to oversee the other museums as director of the foundation. Dennison will continue to report to Krens.

Dennison's assignment to focus on the management of the New York museum raised questions as to whether the move was aimed at mitigating recent criticism leveled at Krens for overspending for worldwide expansion.

In January, philanthropist Peter B. Lewis, chairman of the Progressive Corp. auto insurance company in Cleveland, resigned as chairman of the New York museum, saying he disagreed with Krens' focus on international expansion. A trustee since 1993, Lewis had become the museum's top benefactor, contributing $77 million over the years.

Krens did not return a call for comment.

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