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Art Institute of Chicago Names James Rondeau President and Director


James Rondeau in front of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.


The Art Institute of Chicago has tapped James Rondeau to be its new president and director. The news comes after Douglas Druick, who had been the director for five years, announced his retirement in October of last year.

Rondeau has been a curator of contemporary art with the museum since 1998, where he has organized major shows of work by Charles Ray, Steven McQueen, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, and others.

Rondeau has been the chair of the contemporary art department since 2004, and recently saw of the merger of the contemporary and modern art departments under his leadership. He also helped broker the donation of ARTnews Top 200 collectors Stefan T. Edlis and H. Gael Neeson’s collection to the museum, the largest in the institution’s history.

Of the appointment, Rondeau said in a press release, “I’ve made this extraordinary institution my professional home for nearly two decades because I believe it is one of the greatest museums in the world. I have always embraced the unique challenges of my role as a curator within the powerful context of an encyclopedic institution and I am eager to take on this new role, bringing energy and dedication to the exciting opportunities ahead.”

The outgoing Druick, who has also had a long tenure at the museum, said of Rondeau, “In the many years that I have worked with James, it has been a great pleasure to see him build an extraordinary and internationally diverse contemporary program, help us steward the museum into the 21st century with the opening of the Modern Wing, and realize his potential as a leader both within and outside the museum.”

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