After a six-month search, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has named a new director. The museum announced yesterday that Franklin Sirmans, 46, had been named the new director. Sirmans currently serves as the curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He will replace Thom Collins who left PAMM for Philadelphia's Barnes Foundation in March.
Sirmans comes to Miami with an impressive resume. Prior to his positions at LACMA, he was a curator at Houston's Menil Collection and the 2014 Prospect biennial in New Orleans. Perhaps his most high-profile success was, however, as an independent curator when, in 2005, he collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum of Art to mount the successful "Basquiat" exhibition. Whether or not Sirmans will bring that same perspective to Miami remains to be seen. “We have the opportunity to think about certain artists — particularly from Latin America — that other places might not put a premium on," he told the New York Times.
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The task of leading Miami's flagship museum will undoubtedly be demanding. In its short history, PAMM has already lost two directors and the institution continues to be plagued with financial uncertainty; its endowment is still $50 million short of its projected goals.
But for his part, Sirmans seems ready to meet the challenge. He told the New York Times that he is "looking forward to bringing" major donors to the proverbial table.
Sirmans will begin on October 15.