The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) announces the appointment of Renny Pritikin as Chief Curator. Pritikin will begin in his new role April 28, 2014.
Pritikin has been a leading figure in the San Francisco Bay Area arts community for decades serving as Co-director of New Langton Arts in San Francisco from 1979 to 1992, Chief Curator at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from 1992 to 2004, and Director of the Nelson Gallery and Fine Arts Collection at the University of California, Davis from 2004 until 2012.
In his new position at The CJM, Pritikin will lead all of The Museum’s programmatic initiatives including exhibitions, educational and public programs, and online programming.
“As a Jewish institution seeking to engage the broader public, The CJM requires a Chief Curator whose intellectual passions transcend boundaries; someone able to mine the richness of cultural specificity while reaching beyond traditional patterns and expectations,” says Executive Director Lori Starr. “Renny is, quite simply, the ideal candidate, and I am thrilled that he joins us now to oversee a new phase of exhibition and program innovation. Renny is beloved by artists across all the disciplines. He has championed many artists and mentored so many curators in the field, encouraging risk-taking and originality. His depth of knowledge of international and Bay Area art is stunning. His proven track record for imaginative, boundary-crossing, community-engaging content says it all. How proud are we to welcome him to The CJM family!”
“It is highly gratifying to be in a position to continue a career that has brought me so much satisfaction weaving cultural traditions with innovation in contemporary art for the Bay Area community,” says Pritikin. “While my own cultural heritage has always been implicit in many of my aesthetic choices, I look forward to working in a new context where it might, on occasion, be made explicit. I am delighted to be working with Lori Starr to further extend The CJM’s impact and ambition locally and nationally in the years to come. The potential for this institution is boundless.”
Pritikin's career contains many highlights. In addition to publishing three books of poetry, in 1995 he led a lecture tour to museums throughout Japan as a guest of the State Department, and an official visit to Israel as a Koret Fellow.
In 2001 he was selected as the curator for the United States in the Bienal de Cuenca, in Ecuador. In 2003, as a Fulbright Fellow, he gave a lecture tour to museums throughout New Zealand.
Pritikin is a regular contributor to the online critical journal Art Practical and has been a senior adjunct professor in the curatorial practices graduate program at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco since its inception in 2003.