Philippe Vergne, a director of the Dia Art Foundation in New York, has been chosen as the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. A six-month search after the departure of Jeffrey Deitch from the museum, who held the position as director from 2010 until last summer, led to intense speculation as to who would lead the museum forward. Deitch struggled to lead the museum through rough financial times and a diminishing exhibition schedule; it will be left to time to see if Vergne can overcome these same, persistent struggles.

Vergne, a 47-year-old Frenchman has raised a bit of controversy himself. In recent years, he’s put up pieces from his museum’s collection for auction to keep his space alive, including pieces by Cy Twombly and Barnett Newman. The challenge for him at MOCA will be to keep funding solvent and restore a cache of world-class exhibitions to the space.

MOCA has been at no short supply of controversy and speculation in recent years, as the institution struggles to keep its doors open as well as hosting “Art In The Streets,” one of the most controversial, if-not successful museum exhibitions of street art in recent years.

As the search for a new director went on, MOCA named the lawyer Maria Seferian interim director. Working in the unpaid position, she helped to select the new director, as well as bring new funding to the museum.   

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[via The New York Times]