Finally, a New Head at the Hirshhorn

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The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., has been operating with an interim director for a year and a half, since its former director Olga Viso decamped to become head of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. But this afternoon it announced that Richard Koshalek would be its next director.

Koshalek is best known to people in the artworld as the longtime director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, where he arrived as a deputy to Pontus Hulton in 1980, when MOCA still didn’t have a building, and which he ran from 1983 until 1998, overseeing the construction of its Arata Isozaki home, driving MOCA’s exhibition program, building its collection and generally making it a force to be reckoned with. What he can do with a museum that operates as part of the endlessly troubled Smithsonian system is another question.