Richard Koshalek Becomes Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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  • Richard Koshalek steps into his new position as Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on April 13, 2009. Koshalek, who holds a bachelor's degree (1965) in architecture and a master's degree (1967) in architecture and art history from the University of Minnesota, comes to the Smithsonian from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he served as president from 1999 until January 2009. Prior to that Koshalek was director of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years.
  • Koshalek is known in the art world as an innovator. His experience includes working with architect Frank Gehry on the design and construction of MOCA's Geffen Contemporary (1983), work with the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki on the The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles' permanent home in Los Angeles (1986), serving as chair of the selection committee for the architect (Gehry) of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and participating in the committee that selected Herzog and de Meuron for the Tate Modern.
  • Koshalek succeeds Olga Viso, the previous director who had been a curator with the Hirshhorn Museum, and served as director from 2005 to 2007, when she resigned her post to become the director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.


  • Koshalek, Richard
  • Viso, Olga M. 1966-
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Walker Art Center
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Linda St. Thomas, "Richard Koshalek Named Director of the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden," Smithsonian Newsdesk, February 26, 2009.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


April 13, 2009


  • Art
  • Art museums
  • Art, American
  • Appointments
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Museum directors
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Art Museums
  • Art museum curators
  • Art museum directors
  • Art, Modern


  • United States
  • Washington (D.C.)

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