ICA director leaves post for Jewish Museum
Claudia Gould, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, will be leaving Sept. 7
August 30, 2011, 9:50 pm · Updated September 13, 2011, 9:25 pm·
As new students fill University City, the arts community will be sending off one of its own.
Claudia Gould, who has served as director of the Institute of Contemporary Art on 36th and Sansom streets for over a decade, will be leaving to join the Jewish Museum in New York in September.
The announcement was made on Aug. 24, and Gould will officially say goodbye to the ICA at its free fall opening evening on Sept. 7.
At the Jewish Museum, Gould will work with artists to showcase the Jewish culture and experience through exhibitions and collections.
Gould will replace Joan Rosenbaum, who is retiring from the Jewish Museum after a 30-year tenure. The Jewish Museum hopes that Gould will continue Rosenbaum’s work and engage the museum’s existing audience.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Museum Robert Pruzan wrote in a statement that he is hopeful that Gould will “speak to ever broader and more diverse new audiences, including younger generations of museumgoers.”
While the Jewish Museum is based in a different city with a different culture, Gould said she is ready to bring her signature “kind of exhibition philosophy” to New York.
“For nearly 13 years, she spearheaded” the ICA’s growth and transformation, said Jill Katz, the ICA’s director of marketing and communications. Gould created departments at the ICA, shed light on under-recognized artists and made the museum a leading art institution.
“Their decision to bring [Gould] on … is only going to lead to exciting changes,” Katz added.
Since the ICA was founded in 1963, it has served to expose students and the greater Penn community to the art and architecture of their time, Katz said. The institute partners with students through internships, work studies and classes.
Gould hopes that her work over the past decade at the ICA has made the institution a hub for students and the greater Philadelphia area. She has worked to connect the city and the institution through initiatives such as bringing La Colombe Coffeehouse into the museum and strengthening the ICA’s bond with the University.
The ICA does not have plans to replace Gould. but Katz said a meeting will be held later this week to determine the leadership of the ICA in the interim.
Although Gould admitted that she may be unprepared for certain aspects of her new job, she is bringing the holistic approach she used to transform the ICA to the Jewish Museum. For Gould, all parts of her job, from program development to fundraising, are interconnected parts of the larger institution. “[It’s] all part of one very large picture,” she said.
“Going to a larger institution with a much larger budget — I can only [imagine that Gould will] be able to do [many] more amazing things,” Katz said.
Gould will bring a new outlook to the Jewish Museum by “moving away from a focus on the antiquities and a preservation of the past [and by] emphasizing the new vision of the future,” she added.