Hammer Museum Hires Curators Butler, Moshayedi

Cornelia Butler. Photo Eric Gardner.


The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles will welcome two new additions to its curatorial staff, both starting this summer. Cornelia Butler, named in April as co-curator with Michael Ned Holte of the upcoming Hammer biennial “Made in LA 2014,” will assume the position of chief curator. She replaces Douglas Fogle, who left the Hammer in 2011 to be an independent curator. Aram Moshayedi, currently of REDCAT, will also join the Hammer, in the newly created position of curator.

Butler will be returning to Los Angeles from New York, where she has served as the chief curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art since 2006. She was previously a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, from 1996 to 2006, where she organized “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution.” More recently, at MoMA, she collaborated with the Hammer’s Allegra Pesenti on the exhibition “Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone 1955-1972.”

“Obviously, going from a MoMA to a Hammer is leaving an institution with a long and venerable history, and one of a certain size, to one that is lean and lighter on its feet,” Butler told A.i.A. in a phone conversation. “And I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with the Hammer curatorial team, and with [Hammer director] Ann Philbin, whom I’ve admired for a long time.”

“I’m excited at the chance to work with a very young collection and to shape the direction of that collection,” she added. “And I’m happy to have a broader palette in terms of collecting beyond drawings.”

Moshayedi has organized exhibitions and overseen the production of artists’ work as an associate curator at the Gallery at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in downtown L.A. He previously served as curator at LAXART and contributing editor for Bidoun.

Butler and Moshayedi will both be working to expand the Hammer’s newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection (established in 2005), as well as planning the museum’s exhibitions and residency programs. Both are scheduled to start work in July.