Today the ICA Philadelphia announced three curatorial appointments: Anthony Elms as chief curator, Alex Klein as the Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE ’60) curator, and Kate Kraczon as an associate curator. The three appointments, all effective immediately, were made possible by a $10 million gift from philanthropist Daniel W. Dietrich, II, given to the ICA Philadelphia in May. (Ingrid Schaffner previously held Elms’ position—she left the ICA to curate the 57th Carnegie International.) The announcement is also part of ICA2020, a larger plan for the museum’s expansion spearheaded by museum director Amy Sadao.
Rather than styling its press release for the appointments in a traditional way, with the museum authority figures praising each curator, the ICA Philadelphia asked an artist to comment on each curator. (Sadao, of course, is excited about the appointments. “Their individual and combined knowledge and passion for big questions, new research, and enabling artists’ visions gives audiences opportunities to access the joy, inspiration, and challenge that the very best contemporary art provides,” she said in a statement.)
Zoe Leonard spoke about Elms, who included the photographer’s work into the ICA’s 2013 show “White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart” and who later helped Leonard to realize her 2014 Whitney Biennial installation. “He is a deeply thoughtful curator—rigorous, dedicated, and with profound integrity,” Leonard said in a statement. “Anthony has his eye on the bigger picture and has an incredibly wide-ranging ability to make connections across disciplines.”
Meanwhile, Barbara Kasten talked about Klein, whose survey of Kasten’s work, “Stages,” is currently on view at the museum. “Her commitment and her intelligence, coupled with her professional rigor, make her one of the most innovative curators of her generation,” Kasten said of Klein.
And finally, Alex Da Corte lauded Kraczon with praise for her work with Da Corte and Jayson Musson for an installation they did at the museum in 2014. “She is so generous with her artists—and pushes them to push their ideas and think big,” Da Corte said. “She trusted in us—and I think that is why she generates exciting and surprising shows.”