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Hammer Museum names 2 curators

Douglas Fogle and Anne Ellegood will assume their new duties in May.

February 27, 2009|Suzanne Muchnic

The Hammer Museum, an institution with a broad historical reach that has transformed itself into a hot spot for contemporary art, will get an infusion of fresh curatorial blood in two top positions.

Douglas Fogle, the curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh who organized last year's "Carnegie International," has been appointed chief curator and deputy director of exhibitions and public programs at the Westwood institution. Anne Ellegood, a contemporary art specialist at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., has been named the Hammer's chief curator. Both will begin in May.

"This is good news for Los Angeles," said Hammer director Ann Philbin. "They are two of the most talented curators working in contemporary art today, and they are excited about the city. Both of them have a lot of connections here. They know they want to be here and why."

Also, she said, "they have serious knowledge of, and engagement with, collection building. That was important to me. We are committed to developing and refining the collection even through this economic hardship. We are going to be buying art."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, February 28, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Hammer Museum: An article in Friday's Calendar section about new staff at the Hammer Museum said that Anne Ellegood had been appointed chief curator. She will be senior curator.

Fogle, 44, succeeds Gary Garrels, who left last fall for a position at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The new chief curator grew up in Chicago and was educated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UC Santa Cruz. He was a curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for 11 years before moving to the Carnegie in 2005. At the Hammer he will oversee the curatorial and education departments.

Fogle said that accepting the Hammer's offer was "kind of a no-brainer." Carnegie curators typically move on after organizing and presenting an international exhibition, he said. "I talked to a few people about other situations, but I kept coming back to Los Angeles in my head and my heart. It is my favorite art city, and there seems to be a lot of energy around the Hammer. What I love about the institution is its relationship with artists and its public programs, the ideas that are generated by the place and that it fosters and nurtures."

Ellegood, 42, will move into the position formerly occupied by James Elaine, now an adjunct curator. A native of Portland, Ore., Ellegood prepared for her career at Bard College's Center for Curatorial Studies in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. She was a curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York for five years and served as collector Peter Norton's New York curator before joining the staff at the Hirshhorn, where she has developed many exhibitions since 2005. At the Hammer, she will organize large shows and take charge of "Hammer Projects," a series of installations and exhibitions by emerging artists.

Los Angeles, she said, is "a great place to be right now. It seems to be a very supportive environment for artists who really flourish there."

"Hammer Projects" will keep her closely in touch with new art. "There are 12 projects a year," she said. "I love the idea of being that responsive to artists and exhibitions."

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suzanne.muchnic@ latimes.com

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