Moritz Wesseler, previously the director of the closely watched Kölnischer Kunstverein in Germany, has been picked to lead the Fridericianum museum in Kassel, Germany, which was founded by Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel back in 1779, making it one of the oldest public museums in Europe.
Wesseler, who is 37, takes the place of Susanne Pfeffer, who was tapped earlier this year to become director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. “My goal is to offer a platform for key players in the realm of contemporary art still largely unknown in Germany,” the Fridericianum’s new director said in a statement to press. “In addition, I intend to strengthen the institution’s connection within the city and the local region.”
At the Kölnischer Kunstverein, where he took the top job in 2013, Wesseler organized exhibitions that included artists both promising and lauded but under-recognized, including, to name just a few, Andra Ursuta, Darren Bader, Avery Singer, Danny McDonald, Talia Chetrit, Adriano Costa, Cameron Jamie, Alex Da Corte, and Walter Price. A particular emphasis of his tenure there was “outreach and publicity with the goal of opening Kölnischer Kunstverein to a wider audience,” according to today’s official announcement.
The selection committee for the position was comprised of leading members of German museum officialdom: Krist Gruijthuijsen, the director of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin; Bettina Steinbrügge, the director of the Hamburger Kunstverein; René Zechlin, the director of the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum Ludwigshafen; and Sabine Schormann, the designated general director of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH.
“With Moritz Wesseler,” Christian Geselle, the lord mayor of Kassel and chairman of the board of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, said in a statement, “we have been able to gain a promising young director who intends to continue the great tradition of Fridericianum as a location of encounter and exchange with contemporary art into the future and to network the institution with important actors from the region and around the world.”