Women take the lead at Cooper Hewitt and the Hirshhorn

June 19, 2014 Coming? Going? Let your colleagues know! Submit items to torch@si.edu and put “On the Move” in the subject line. Be sure to include contact information and a picture as an attachment. We love pictures!


Brooke Hodge has been appointed deputy director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, effective July 16. The position has been vacant since 2012, when Caroline Baumann stepped up from the role to become director of the museum.

Brooke Hodge

Brooke Hodge

An architecture and design specialist, Hodge has been director of exhibitions and publications at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles since 2010. She was previously the architecture and design curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art  in Los Angeles, where she organized shows on Frank Gehry, the automobile designer J. Mays, and Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture. She was a guest curator of the third National Design Triennial, “Design Life Now” in 2006, alongside three Cooper Hewitt curators. Hodge is currently working on an exhibition of Thomas Heatherwick, which will open at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas in September. Prior to working in Los Angeles, she was on the staff of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design for 10 years, where she held positions as the school’s assistant dean and as a curator at Harvard’s Fogg Museum.


Melissa Chiu, museum director and senior vice president for Global Arts and Cultural Programs for the Asia Society in New York City, has been named director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, effective Sept. 29.

Chiu (pronounced CHEW) has served as the director of the Asia Society Museum since 2004 and before that she was the curator for contemporary Asian and Asian American art (2001–2004).  Chiu has focused on expanding the presentation of contemporary art while building a new collection of photography and video, including major acquisitions by Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono, Mariko Mori and Yang Fudong for the Asia Society Museum.

Melissa Chiu, Museum Director and Senior Vice President for Global Arts and Cultural Programs for the Asia Society (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson)

Melissa Chiu

A native of Australia, Chiu earned her bachelor’s degree in 1992 at the University of Western Sydney in art history and criticism and her master’s in arts administration in 1994 from the College of Fine Arts at University of New South Wales. She completed her Ph.D. with a dissertation on experimental Chinese art at the University of Western Sydney in 2005. Chiu has authored and edited several books and catalogs on contemporary art, including Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader, lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Museum of Modern Art and other universities and museums.


Posted: 19 June 2014
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