Grachos Stepping Down as Director of Albright-Knox | News
BUFFALO, NY - Louis Grachos, director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery since December 2002, is leaving Buffalo to become executive director of AMOA-Arthouse, an arts program in Austin, Texas. He will stay on at the Albright-Knox until January 2013.
"I am looking forward to working to build a world-class contemporary program in Austin," Grachos is quoted as saying in a statement released by the gallery Thursday morning. "It is an exciting and unique opportunity."
Leslie Zemsky, president of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, said, "Louis has done incredible work at the gallery. He has dedicated himself to continuing to build a vibrant, vital art museum and positioning it for future development as part of the fabric of a strong arts community in Western New York."
The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy is the governing body of the Albright-Knox.
Zemsky said the Academy is forming a committee to start a national search for a new director, and thanked Grachos for his "leadership in placing this museum at the vanguard of cometemporary and modern art."
Grachos, a native of Toronto, served as director and curator at SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico prior to coming to Buffalo. He is credited with staging several forward-looking exhibitions at the Albright-Knox, including the "Extreme Abstraction" show in 2005, and inaugurating the "Beyond/In Western New York" regional biennial. The "Gusto at the Gallery" program he championed was targeted to a broader audience of non-traditional museum-goers.
However, Grachos's tenure may be best remembered for his role as frontman for the surprise announcement in November 2006 that the gallery was going to "deaccession" about 200 premodern works of art from the gallery's permanent collection. The controversial sale was said to have netted $67 million for the museum's endowment fund for the purchase of contemporary art but it also denuded the collection of its most ancient treasures, including the exceedingly rare Roman bronze sculpture Artemis and the Stag.
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