Caroline Baumann Named Director of the Cooper-Hewitt

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  • Secretary G. Wayne Clough announces that he has named Caroline Baumann as Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, effective June 16, 2013. Baumann succeeds Bill Moggridge, who was Cooper-Hewitt's Director for two years until his death in September 2012. As Director, Baumann will strengthen Cooper-Hewitt's reputation for educating, inspiring, and empowering people through design and oversee the renovation of the museum and the reinstallation of its galleries, which are set to reopen in fall 2014. Baumann had served as Acting Director of the Cooper-Hewitt since September 2012; before that she was Associate Director, Acting Director, and Deputy Director between 2006 and 2009. Prior to that, she worked at The Museum of Modern Art from 1995 to 2001. The search committee for the directorship was chaired by Richard Kurin, the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, and included Kurt Andersen, Barbara Mandel, and Judy Francis Zankel, all members of the museum's Board of Trustees; Emily Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Michael Caruso, Editor-in-Chief of Smithsonian magazine; and Seb Chan, Director of Digital and Emerging Media at Cooper-Hewitt.
  • Since joining the Cooper-Hewitt in 2001, Baumann had worked on developing and implementing the museum's strategic plan, leading its fund raising campaign, and managing its educational, curatorial, and digital efforts. She is also the museum's liaison to its 32-member Board of Trustees. For the current renovation, Baumann is leading the transformation and creation of immersive museum spaces and memorable visitor experiences. Baumann oversaw the expansion of the Cooper-Hewitt's digital frontier with the launch of "Object of the Day," a section of the website that features a new collection item daily and draws from more than 217,000 objects.
  • Baumann is a member of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee for the U.S. Postal Service, the New York City Landmarks50 Advisory Committee and a director of the Royal College of Art U.S. Alumni Group Advisory Board. She is a member of the Collective, which staged the Collective.1 Design Fair in New York, and a member of the NYCxDesign steering committee. Baumann received her master's degree in medieval art from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and her bachelor's degree in the history of art and French literature from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.


  • Kurin, Richard 1950-
  • Baumann, Caroline
  • Moggridge, Bill 1943-2012
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Clough, G. Wayne, "Message from the Secretary: Caroline Baumann Named Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum," SI Email Announcement, 6/6/2013

Contact information

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


June 16, 2013


  • Design
  • Art museums
  • Appointments
  • Directors
  • Personnel management
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Museums--New York City
  • Museums--Employees
  • Museum directors
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • New York City
  • New York (N.Y.)

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