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Johanna Burton Appointed Director of MOCA.
Johanna Burton Appointed Director of MOCA.

Johanna Burton Appointed Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Sept 17 2021

Johanna Burton will assume the full role of the Maurice Marciano Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), running all operations and functions of the museum, on November 1, 2021.

Burton has been active in the contemporary art field for more than 20 years, including more than a decade of leadership experience in major museums and prominent arts and education institutions. She comes to MOCA after an accomplished tenure as Director of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH. She was selected to lead MOCA from an extensive international search for her demonstrated executive, management, and curatorial excellence and leadership.

"It’s thrilling to join MOCA’s team at this historic moment, and I am humbled to take a leadership role at such a pivotal institution for communities both local and international. MOCA’s artist-centered mission dovetails with my own commitment to creating platforms that foster artistic innovation and emphasize deep connections to audiences. By pursuing these goals and supporting the efforts of MOCA’s team, I’m looking forward to extending the museum’s legacy while strengthening bonds both within the institution and with the public," said Burton.

In light of the changed circumstances resulting from Klaus Biesenbach’s recent appointment as the director of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, he will not serve as Artistic Director of MOCA. Biesenbach is transitioning his duties to Burton. MOCA does not plan to hire another Artistic Director.

"MOCA is in excellent hands with Johanna, and she has the full faith and confidence of the museum to lead MOCA into the future," said Maria Seferian, chair of MOCA’s Board of Trustees. "We congratulate Klaus on the honor of being appointed director of the Neue Nationalgalerie. We wish him the best and thank him for his contributions to MOCA."

Prior to her time at the Wexner, Burton was the Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum in New York. She is a highly esteemed curator and thinker who has published extensively. She holds multiple degrees, including an M.A. in Art History from Princeton University (Ph.D., ABD); an M.Phil from New York University in Performance Studies; and an M.A. in Art History, Criticism, and Theory from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.