Janne Sirén to become next Director of Albright-Knox

The Board of Directors at the Albright-Knox has announced its appointment of its new Director, Dr. Janne Sirén. Sirén, the current Director of the Helsinki Art Museum, Finland, was in town today for the highly anticipated announcement. 
Along with the international recognition that goes hand in hand with running the Helsinki Art Museum, Sirén has been instrumental, via his position at the museum, in working with the city on visual arts policies and managing the capital’s public art programs. “I am inspired by Buffalo’s aspirations, and by the Albright-Knox’s desire to continue to play a leading role on regional, national, and international stages,” said Sirén. “The Albright-Knox’s legacy of visionary collection development, its artist-centric approach and ability to institutionally reinvent itself over time, is extraordinary. It is a privilege to sustain and carry forward such a tradition in a museum that is firmly anchored to its own urban context and history. At the same time, the Albright-Knox embraces pioneering developments in the visual arts on a globally resonant level and scale.  The opportunity to serve the local Buffalo community, and simultaneously the broader transnational art world, is tremendously exciting.”
Sirén is no stranger to the United States. He attended College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and received his M.A., and Ph.D. in Art History, from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. “Moving back to the United States is for me a return home, a return to my intellectual and cultural roots,” said Sirén. “I very much look forward to building the future of this national treasure here in Buffalo, which strikes me as the friendliest place on the planet.” 
After conducting a global search for the position of director, the Board of Directors unanimously selected Sirén due to his “Impeccable credentials and outstanding scholarship”. Albright-Knox Board President Leslie Zemsky stated that “We are delighted Janne will be coming here to lead the Albright-Knox, and I know he is as excited as we are. He is an impressive scholar and visionary administrator who is able to embrace and connect local, national, and global stages in a relevant and viable way. He brings extensive experience and knowledge to the Albright-Knox in all areas of programming and also a passion for the Gallery’s growth and development.  Janne is an extraordinary leader, and he shares our vision for the active role of the Albright-Knox in the growth and vitality of our community.  He has a wealth of experience in promoting economic development and growth through cultural tourism, which is such a high priority for us here at the Gallery and in the Buffalo Niagara region.”

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15 comments
ex-716
ex-716

I think he should be praised for trying to bring a Guggenheim to Helsinki. I image if someone tried to do that for Buffalo people would fight him every step of the way as well.

Buffalo is indeed a poor city (in an extremely high-taxed state) but it has a wealth of cultural gems. Mr. Siren seems to be a good fit.

P.S. Buffalo does not have "one of the highest poverty rates the world." I'm sure billions of people in Africa and Asia subsisting on $1.00 a day would disagree.

Up and coming
Up and coming

No, it's about changing with the times. Adapt of die.

Captain Picard
Captain Picard

Couldn't agree more. But of course, we've been selling our children and their futures in this country since the 1970s.

This is one principle of preservation that I very much support: keeping the old intact. To sell masterpieces by Caravaggio or Renoir (you know, guys who could actually paint)in order to pay for some "ar-teest's" LSD-induced spray-paint interpretation of an Occupy Wall Street protest is folly, indeed.

Captain Picard
Captain Picard

You both make good points. Travelrrr is correct: our city and our collection (not to mention the salary that no doubt approaches $250k) was enough to bring him here. On the other hand, WTBasketball is correct in saying that New York State sucks a big fat one.

Hannu
Hannu

Good luck with Janne Siren. Most likely he will ruin your art museum.

The guy is a joke in Finnish art circles. Only reason for his "career" are his family connections. His actual knowledge about art is zero. His Guggenhein museum project was the greatest catastrophy - and biggest joke - in Finnish art world on this century.

But at least we got now rid of him. He tried his best to destroy the Tampere Arts Museum, next he worked hard to ruin Helsinki Art Museum and now....

Sorry good folks at Buffalo. Finnish culture world is a better place without Siren and his visions of "life after Guggenheim's galaxy".

Chris
Chris

Looks like world class talent for a world class destination!

Excited to see what new idea's and strategic vision Janne will bring. Buffalo is always at it's best when we welcome top talent into our community to supplement what is already going on.

Michal
Michal

I wsih Dr. Siren well.I hope this is the person to spearhead the expansion of the gallery,The time is now to find a location for a major gallery in Buffalo.The Elmwwod site is as big as it can get and an offsite location should be considered.I'd love to be able to see major large shows.How about something on the waterfront or using one of the historic sites?AK has been sitting on it's hands and the funds for many years now and all thats done is study after study after study.......wishful thinking.....?

davvid
davvid

Very exciting. It seems like there is some Nordic synergy going on. First the AK hires Snohetta a firm with ties to Norway and now a new director from Finland.

paulsobo
paulsobo

Trying to serve the international art community in a city among the highest povery ratings in the world is folly.

Focusing on collecting only contemporary and modern is folly.

Selling its antiquities of Buffalo's golden age to finance contemporary and modern art is like selling your children into child porn. Its exploitation to real skill and craft for talentless abstract schlock pretending to thought out and innovative.

If contemporary and modern art is so worthy of a museum then by all means let the art patrons finance it and make it work but de-acquisitioning its antiquities to pay for it merely says how worthless and unviable contemporary and modern art really is...particularly to the Buffalo public.

Let each stand on their own merit. Create a space to display the antiquities donated to the Albright during Buffalos golden age in its own space and see which Buffalonians want. Perhaps they want both.

However, to have a group of elitists tell Buffalonians what they should have and play to a group of outsiders says they are out of touch with the city they inhabit.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Maybe Janne brings with him international connections.

Nonetheless, this really speaks volumes about the stature of the Albright-Knox (that he would be willing to leave the HAM to come to Buffalo).

WTBasketball
WTBasketball

Your comment is total bullshit. "tight purse strings"

Welcome to Buffalo were corporations which built this institution (please don't waste my time with the trivial public funds contribution) are hard pressed to support this esteemed institution and other worthy organizations. Too few dollars.

Unfortunately we have limited private support because we seem to enjoy chasing businesses and high wealth individuals out of town. Enjoy the most taxed state in the country.

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

The Albright-Knox is long overdue for an expansion -- and a daring one at that. If he is only able to open the notoriously tight purse strings of western New York, his tenure will be considered a success.

WTBasketball
WTBasketball

Much success. Gotta have some thick skin. While sports and the mayor's podiums (assuming more than two) receive more, the Albright Knox is right there, which I guess is a good thing.

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