Viso Named Director of the Hirshhorn Museum

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  • Olga M. Viso is named director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden effective September 1, 2005. Viso succeeds Ned Rifkin, who became director of the Hirshhorn in 2002 and has served concurrently as Smithsonian Under Secretary for Art since January 2004. With Viso as the Hirshhorn's new director, Rifkin will devote full time to his position as Under Secretary, overseeing policy and administration for the Smithsonian's eight art organizations. Viso joined the curatorial department of the Hirshhorn in 1995 as assistant curator, was named associate curator in 1998 and served as curator of contemporary art from 2000 to 2003. In October 2003, Viso was named deputy director of the Hirshhorn. In that capacity, she worked closely with Rifkin in the strategic planning, artistic direction and daily management of the museum. She also played a key role in enlarging and reconstituting the museum's advisory board of trustees and revitalizing the vision for the nation's museum of modern and contemporary art.
  • Viso resigned her post in 2007 to become the director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and was succeeded by Richard Koshalek, director of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years.


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


Chronology of Smithsonian History


"Smithsonian Names Olga Viso Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden," Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Press Release, Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Contact information

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


September 1, 2005


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


  • United States
  • Washington (D.C.)

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