Welcome Julián Zugazagoitia

Julián Zugazagoitia, a man whose passion for the arts has taken him around the globe, has been named the fifth director of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and will assume his post September 1. The news was announced at a March 5 press conference. Born in Mexico and educated at the Sorbonne Paris IV in France, Julián speaks six languages and has worked in the Americas, Europe and Africa. On his visits to Kansas City, he has been struck by the vibrancy of the area, especially the synergy between the arts culture, the university, business and scientific communities, and the overall commitment to philanthropy.

For the past seven years, Julián has been the Director/CEO of El Museo del Barrio in New York, a leading institution in the field of Latin American and Latino art. He led the institution through a $44 million renovation project that resulted in new gallery spaces, a refurbished facility and a popular restaurant. Jim Luce with the Huffington Post wrote about the opening: “Last week on a cold, windy night, over 1,600 New Yorkers arrived to welcome the opening of the Museum. The place was so alive, so hot – so on fire.” Julián is known for his high-energy leadership and his collaborations with other institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the National Portrait Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Before leading El Museo, Julián worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York as Executive Assistant to the Director. As a consultant and curator, he also worked with UNESCO and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, organizing exhibitions, events and conferences internationally. He also curated exhibitions for the international art fair ARCO 2005, the 25th Sao Paulo Biennale in Brazil in 2002 and as Director of Visual Arts with the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

Julián is married and has two children, ages 6 and 10. How do you pronounce his name?  HOO-lian SZU-ga-sa-GOY-tee-ah.

Click here to view the press release.

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