Berkeley Art Museum Director Lawrence Rinder to Step Down After 13 Years

Lawrence Rinder.

Lawrence Rinder.


Lawrence Rinder, the director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California, will step down in March of next year. The museum did not provide a reason for Rinder’s departure or details about his next steps, but Charles Desmarais, of the San Francisco Chronicle, quoted Rinder saying that he would spend time “enjoying nature and learning from nature.”

Rinder has directed BAMPFA since 2008. He held a number of positions at the institution from 1988 to 1998, including curator and assistant director for audience and programs, before moving on to serve at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He returned to BAMPFA as director in 2008 and took the title of chief curator as well, in 2016.

Carol Christ, the chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement, “For more than a decade, Lawrence Rinder has been an outstanding leader of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, amplifying the museum’s international reputation and deepening its public impact through programming that advances the highest creative and intellectual aspirations of UC Berkeley.”

During his tenure, Rinder oversaw the institution’s move to a new building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. According to the museum, he doubled attendance there and added thousands of works to its holdings. The San Francisco Chronicle also reported that he has brought in a new donation from an anonymous giver that is “in the millions.” Rinder’s final show at the museum will be a Rosie Lee Tompkins retrospective that is due to open in February.

Rinder said in a statement, “I am deeply honored to have spent the past eleven years leading an institution that has contributed so much to the Bay Area’s arts community throughout its history, and which gave me one of my first professional opportunities as a young curator many years ago.”

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