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Rinder to take over at Berkley Art Museum

Lawrence Robert Rinder, the distinguished critic and curator, will succeed Jacquelynn Baas as director of the Berkley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). Baas, who directed the museum from 1988 to 1999 has been serving as interim director since October 2007, following the retirement of Kevin E. Consey.

Rinder, who is currently the Dean of the College at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland, has worked at BAM/PFA before — between 1988 and 1998 he served in various positions in the museum, including Curator for Twentieth-century Art.

Taking up his new post in the summer of 2008, Rinder will direct the institution through the design and implementation of a new facility that will reunite the museum galleries with the Pacific Film Archive Theater. This new arts complex will be the first North American project for Toyo Ito & Associates Architects and will enable BAM/PFA to expand its programming.

Rinder has an impressive career history, not least as the founding director of Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art from 1998 to 2000. Later he joined the Whitney Museum of American Art as the Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator of Contemporary Art, organizing exhibitions such as “The American Effect,” “BitStreams,” and the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

Chancellor of the University of California, Dr. Robert Birgenau, commented, “The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is one of the gems of the University of California system, offering an unparalleled experience for both students and a broad public. We are delighted that Lawrence Rinder has agreed to return to BAM/PFA. His demonstrated leadership and creativity, and his deep knowledge of art, education, and the role of museums in public life, will be critical as BAM/PFA expands not only its physical space but also its program and audience.”

Rinder said, “Joining BAM/PFA as director is both returning to an institution that I know and love and launching into terrifically exciting new territory. The museum’s plans — both for its building and its program — are so full of promise and vision that I am certain BAM/PFA will set a new standard for museum practice in the years to come. I’m eager to begin working with colleagues new and old to fulfill this tremendous opportunity, empowering the museum to extend its already strong reputation as a globally-renowned center for the arts. Toyo Ito’s remarkable building design will draw worldwide attention while uniting the museum’s exceptional collection and programmatic strengths with the unparalleled resources and highly engaged audiences of the University and the City of Berkeley.”