The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) announced today that Hesse McGraw has been named the institution’s tenth director. McGraw will oversee all aspects of the noncollecting museum’s artistic and educational programs, fundraising efforts, and day-to-day operations. McGraw will assume his role at CAMH in January 2020.
“I could not be more pleased that Hesse McGraw will be coming to Houston to serve as the new director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston,” said Dillon Kyle, chair of the board of trustees. “Hesse brings a wonderful combination of a deep passion for the arts and practical experience as an administrator and curator at several of the nation’s most innovative arts programs. His wide-ranging background, entrepreneurial spirit, and creative perspective make him the ideal person to lead CAMH at this exciting time in the institution’s nearly seventy-five-year history.”
McGraw comes to CAMH from Kansas City, Missouri, where he is partner of el dorado, inc., a cross-disciplinary design firm. Prior to el dorado, McGraw served as vice president for exhibitions and public programs at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where he commissioned and curated residency-based projects by Alejandro Almanza Pereda, and Mariana Castillo Deball, as well as the multiyear project, The Proposal, by Jill Magid, which offers the gift of architect Luis Barragán’s body in the form of a two-carat diamond engagement ring in exchange for the return of his archives to Mexico.
Commenting on his new role, McGraw said, “Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a pioneering institution with a remarkable, radical legacy at the leading edge of contemporary art and ideas. I am thrilled to join CAMH at this pivotal moment in our culture—we need artists now more than ever! I look forward to working with the entire CAMH team, board, public, and artists to directly engage the civic life of Houston and beyond.”