Xavier F. Salomon. Photo Michael Bodycomb.

Xavier F. Salomon, 34, will become chief curator at New York's Frick Collection in January. He replaces Colin B. Bailey, who left in March to become director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

"The museum, as everyone knows, is an incredibly special institution," Salomon told A.i.A. when reached by phone today. "The key thing is that it's a collection where every object is of top quality."

For three years, Salomon has worked at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he is a curator of Southern Baroque paintings. Prior to that, he was the chief curator at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery. But he started his career as a curatorial fellow at the Frick in 2004, organizing his first exhibition, the show "Veronese's Allegories" in 2006.

"The Veronese paintings are obviously among my favorite objects in the collection," he said. "But it's the ensemble of exceptional objects from across Europe from across the centuries that makes it such a privilege to work here."