Program Highlights | 2018 MoMA International Curatorial Institute Convenes Curators of Modern and Contemporary Art

2018 Moma Institute Crop (JPG)
The 2018 MoMA International Curatorial Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art participants (from left to right, top to bottom row): Justin Paton, Miguel A. López, Joy Mboya, Russell Storer, Martino Stierli, Laura Barlow, Katerina Chuchalina, Bojana Piškur, Anne Umland, Aaron Seeto, and Miranda Wallace. Photo by Will Raggazino.

Highlights from the two-week intensive organized by The Museum of Modern Art with the Center for Curatorial Leadership

This March, the 2018 MoMA International Curatorial Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art brought together 11 curators from institutions around the globe for a two-week leadership intensive in New York City. This fourth iteration of the Institute continued the Center for Curatorial Leadership’s (CCL) partnership with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) International Program and addressed international models of curatorial practice, regional approaches to programming, and strategies for institutional leadership.

The cohort included two curators from MoMA as well as participants from the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia); The GoDown Arts Centre (Nairobi, Kenya); Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Doha, Qatar); Moderna Galerija (Llubljana, Slovenia); Museum MACAN (Jakarta, Indonesia); the National Gallery Singapore (Singapore); the National Gallery of Victoria – NGV (Melbourne, Australia); TEOR/éTica (San José, Costa Rica); and V-A-C Foundation (Moscow, Russia).

Highlights from the Institute include: 


The 2018 Institute brought participants into conversation with museum directors, civic leaders, and foundation heads from New York City and beyond. Through discussions on vision, management, challenges, and successes, the curators had the opportunity to share their perspectives and museums’ outlooks with an array of invited speakers. Convening director Glenn D. Lowry (MoMA) and directors Matthew Teitelbaum (The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) and Anne Pasternak (Brooklyn Museum) spoke to the innovative ideas they see moving their institutions’ missions forward. Themes of social justice, shared acquisitions, and permanent collection galleries—as they pertain both to the United States and the cohort’s home institutions around the globe—surfaced shared threads between varied cultural programming. 

These ideas continued in conversations with Mariët Westermann, Executive Vice President for Programs and Research, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, who underscored issues around fundraising, philanthropic culture, governance, and civic planning. 


With several of the participants in the midst of expansions and in light of MoMA’s own 2019 building project and reinstallation of its permanent collection, questions of art historical narratives and representation found a heightened sense of relevance and urgency. Through meetings with MoMA chief curators Christophe Cherix and Ann Temkin, among many others, the cohort shared their distinct points of view on the complexities and opportunities of presenting artworks from the last century and envisioning a history of modern art. Coming from institutions both longstanding and months-old, the curators shed light on the nuance through which their many different museums approach modernity and plurality through their collections. 


Through CCL’s ongoing relationship with Columbia Business School (CBS), the curators completed an intensive curriculum spanning management principles and leadership strategies. Distinguished CBS professors led exercises, lectures, and customized units that covered subjects including change management, managerial accounting, conflict resolution, and stakeholder management. A case study at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum allowed the group to consider a real-life scenario and the complex history behind a significant cultural and commemorative project. In each of the CBS modules, the curators invoked past experiences at their own museums to create a more nuanced image of leadership in practice and across different cultural contexts.

By drawing upon CCL’s decade of rigorous curatorial training and MoMA’s long history of global exchange through its International Program, the 2018 Institute provided the cohort with tools, knowledge, and a continued platform for critical discourse as they define and develop their leadership abilities. Alongside an engagement with curatorial methods and approaches for presenting more global art historical stories, the Institute generated a strong sense of community and collaboration in forging new paths for globally-engaged curatorial practice and leadership.

Congratulations to the participants in this year’s MoMA International Curatorial Institute! 

2018 MoMA International Curatorial Institute PARTICIPANTS

Laura Barlow, Curator, Middle East, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar

Katerina Chuchalina, Chief Curator, V-A-C Foundation, Moscow Russia

Miguel A. López, Co-Director and Chief Curator, TEOR/éTICA, San José, Costa Rica

Joy Mboya, Executive Director, The GoDown Arts Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Justin Paton, Head Curator of International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Bojana Piškur, Senior Curator, Modern Galerija, Llubljana, Slovenia

Aaron Seeto, Director, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), Jakarta, Indonesia

Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Russell Storer, Deputy Director (Curatorial and Collections), National Gallery Singapore, Singapore

Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Miranda Wallace, Senior Curator of International Exhibition Projects, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne, Australia

For more information about the 2018 cohort, click here.


2018 MoMA International Curatorial Institute Press Release (download)