SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 1, 2019) — The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced the appointment of three key leadership positions at the museum. Janet Bishop was named Thomas Weisel Family Chief Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture. In this role, she will be responsible for the development and implementation of the museum’s overall exhibition strategy, as well as governance and oversight of the curatorial division. Chad Coerver was appointed the Leanne and George Roberts Chief Education and Community Engagement Officer. He will be responsible for strategizing and developing education programs and interpretive programs that foster and deepen engagement for a diverse audience of adults, families and youth. Both positions will report to Neal Benezra, Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA, and are effective immediately. Bishop and Coerver will also serve as members of the museum’s executive leadership team.
The museum also announced that Rebecca Malkin-Chocron will join SFMOMA as Director of Finance and will report to Janet Alberti, Deputy Museum Director of Administration and Finance, effective March 4, 2019.
“We are so fortunate to have Janet and Chad, two leaders with rich experience, strong relationships with the art community, expansive institutional knowledge and years of producing critically-acclaimed projects, ready to inspire and lead our teams to advance the goals of our new strategic plan,” said Benezra. “I am confident that through their creativity and leadership, we will continue to enhance our programs and collection, and deepen our bonds with artists and audiences.”
Janet Bishop has served as SFMOMA’s Curator of Painting and Sculpture since 2000. In her new role as Thomas Weisel Family Chief Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Bishop will lead the curatorial division’s 17 curators and associated staff, and have administrative responsibility for the museum’s five collecting departments — Painting and Sculpture, Photography, Architecture + Design, Media Arts and Contemporary Art — whose collections comprise nearly 47,500 works. In her new role, Bishop will oversee the implementation of SFMOMA’s new strategic plan as it relates to the museum’s exhibition and acquisition programs to bring greater diversity and dynamism. SFMOMA has presented more than 30 exhibitions each year since its expansion in 2016.
Over the course of her 30-year career at SFMOMA, Bishop has served as lead or co-curator for many of SFMOMA’s most important and critically acclaimed exhibitions. Matisse/Diebenkorn (2016–17), was co-organized with the Baltimore Museum of Art, and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant Garde (2011–12), was a co-organized exhibition that premiered at SFMOMA and traveled to the Grand Palais, Paris and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Steins Collect was awarded Outstanding Thematic Exhibition by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC); Best Museum Show Nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA); Outstanding New Catalogue by the Dedalus Foundation; and the Frick Book Prize.
Bishop was responsible for the current collection-based exhibitions Wayne Thiebaud: Artist’s Choice and Wayne Thiebaud: Paintings and Drawings. Other exhibitions of note include 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show (2010–11), a major reinstallation of SFMOMA’s collection assembling some 400 works in all media; Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective (2005–06), the first comprehensive exhibition of the California realist’s paintings and drawings; and 010101: Art in Technological Times (2001), which brought together the work of 20 international contemporary artists on the occasion of the millennium. Bishop has long been a champion of the art of the Bay Area community. As a co-curator of the SECA Art Awards from 1992 to 2006, she worked directly with dozens of Bay Area–based artists including Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Amy Franceschini, Chris Johanson, Hung Liu, Barry McGee and Josephine Taylor.
Overseeing SFMOMA’s On the Go program while the museum was closed for expansion from 2013–2016, Bishop led the museum’s innovative partnerships with multiple institutions to present more than 15 collection-based exhibitions, site-specific installations and educational initiatives in both traditional and non-traditional venues in the Bay Area and beyond. These projects allowed the museum to experiment with new ideas, engage in dialogue with a range of cultural partners and create innovative ways for new audiences to experience SFMOMA’s collection. Bishop is currently preparing a career retrospective of the artist David Park that will open at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in June 2019, and will be presented at SFMOMA in the spring/summer of 2020.
Bishop, a Bay Area native, joined SFMOMA as a curatorial assistant in 1988, working in all the museum’s collecting departments before joining the department of Painting and Sculpture as an assistant curator in 1992. She assumed the role of Curator of Painting and Sculpture in 2000, and that position was endowed in 2015. Her interest in a museum career was sparked as an intern at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, and she currently serves on its Advisory Council. Bishop received her BA in art history and psychology from Cornell University and her MA in art history from Columbia University. She was named Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture in 2018.
Chad Coerver is the Leanne and George Roberts Chief Education and Community Engagement Officer. In this new role, he will be responsible for advancing SFMOMA’s institutional mission to share the art of our time with passion and purpose, and heightening its impact through the strategic design, development and implementation of visitor engagement initiatives. This includes leading all K-12 and collegiate education programs, public programs, public events and forums for dialogue; creating opportunities for lifelong learning that serve a multiplicity of learning styles and audiences; building meaningful partnerships with community organizations and individual artists; and developing programming for the museum’s public spaces and partners including the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Unified School District.
Now in his 20th year at the museum, Coerver previously served as Chief Content Officer and led a team of 30 content producers, creative technologists, editors and designers in crafting and executing the museum’s strategies across web and digital platforms, interpretive media, community engagement, publications and the design studio, to foster a deeper understanding of and engagement with contemporary art and culture. He has also served as the museum’s Director of Publications, Graphic Design and Web from 2002–2012, and as Managing Editor from 1999–2002.
Coerver has overseen a number of high-profile initiatives for SFMOMA, including multiple redesigns of the museum’s website and app; the Rauschenberg Research Project, a Getty Foundation Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative project; the creation of the new digital experience strategy for the expanded museum; the launch of Send Me SFMOMA, the museum’s critically acclaimed texting interface allowing users to access, via texted keywords or emojis, thousands of works from the museum’s collection that are not on view; and most recently the Magritte Interpretive Gallery, a partnership with the design firm frog.
Coerver’s work at the museum has received many industry awards and honors including: International Design Award, Best App, 2017; Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, Social Media, 2017; Webby Award, Mobile: Best Use of GPS/Location Technology, 2017; GLAMi Innovation in Cultural Heritage Winner, Museum-Wide Guide or Program, 2017; Dedalus Foundation, Winner, Best Exhibition Catalogue (Bruce Conner), 2017; American Association of Museum, MUSE Technology Awards, multiple projects, 2016, 2017; and Communication Arts Design Annual, Winner, multiple projects including visual identity, 2016, 2017.
Lecturing frequently on strategy and organizational change, Coerver has appeared at the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), Museums and the Web, American Alliance of Museums (AAM) conferences and the National Museum Publishing Seminar. Additionally, he has lectured on art and museums at Stanford University, John F. Kennedy University and Washington University in St. Louis. Coerver is a former specialist in Renaissance Art and holds a Masters of Philosophy in art history from Yale University and a BA in art history from Duke University.
Rebecca Malkin-Chocron joins SFMOMA as Director of Finance with an extensive background in corporate, international and non-profit finance and operations. Most recently, Malkin-Chocron served as Finance and Operations Advisor to Niños de Guatemala, an education-focused nonprofit organization that runs three schools serving the educational, health and nutritional needs of over 500 underprivileged children in Guatemala.
She worked for Levi Strauss & Co. from 2000–2016 holding positions of increasing levels of responsibility including Finance Manager, Finance Director and Senior Finance Director, and served as CFO of Levi Strauss Mexico. She led global financial and strategic planning, accounting and reporting across brands, supply chain, IT, HR and legal functions. Malkin-Chocron also served on the company’s Worldwide Leadership Team for global IT. Prior to Levi Strauss & Co., she held positions in investment banking at BNP Paribas and economic research at international development organizations.
Malkin-Chocron earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University/Institut Commercial de Nancy, majoring in Finance and International Business.
SFMOMA’s new five-year strategic plan, developed and approved in 2018, commits the organization to a series of goals that will produce a more diverse, welcoming and relevant arts center with deep connections to the Bay Area while producing ambitious exhibitions and forward-thinking scholarship that has national and international impact.
The four goals are:
Each goal, developed by task forces made up of SFMOMA staff, trustees and external consultants, was broken down into objectives and tactics that are now being implemented across all departments. As those gain momentum, SFMOMA’s visitor base will grow and shift, attracting a new and more diverse population thanks to better communication with target audiences, an increased number of Free Days to allow access and stronger relationships with Bay Area cultural organizations and artists.
Works of art by women and artists of color displayed and collected by SFMOMA will increase; this initiative is already underway, with the proceeds from the sale of Mark Rothko’s Untitled, 1960 earmarked for broadening and diversifying the collection. The display of core collections, including the Fisher Collection, will be reconceptualized in ways that are more engaging and exciting, through the development of new digital interpretation, more educational, family and public programming and other audience engagement tactics. In addition, curators will pursue original scholarship that will both energize SFMOMA’s exhibition schedule and bolster its reputation as a research organization. As these strategies develop, SFMOMA will enhance its position as a thought leader among arts organizations.