Albright-Knox taps Finn Janne Siren to be new director

Jan 14, 2013

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has gone overseas to find its new director. Janne Sirén, director of the Helsinki Art Museum in Finland, will take over for Louis Grachos, who left the museum last year for a job in Austin, Texas.

The gallery's board of directors voted unanimously to hire Sirén as its 11th director. He is the first Nordic director to take the helm of a major American art museum.

A Finnish native, Siren was educated in the U.S. and has a resume showing leadership at several European galleries and museums. He holds a B.A. degree in Art History from the College of the Holy Cross. He received his M.A., and Ph.D., also in the field of Art History, from New York University’s renowned Institute of Fine Arts.

"The Albright-Knox’s legacy of visionary collection development, its artist-centric approach and ability to institutionally reinvent itself over time, is extraordinary. It is a privilege to sustain and carry forward such a tradition in a museum that is firmly anchored to its own urban context and history," Siren said Monday.

“We are delighted Janne will be coming here to lead the Albright-Knox, and I know he is as excited as we are. He is an impressive scholar and visionary administrator who is able to embrace and connect local, national, and global stages in a relevant and viable way," said Board President Leslie Zemsky, in a statement.

Sirén is expected to take over his new post in the late spring or early summer. A news conference to introduce the new director is scheduled for Tuesday morning.