Solveig Øvstebø, the director and chief curator of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, will join the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo as its new executive director in May 2020. Øvstebø succeeds Gunnar B. Kvaran who has led the museum since 2001.

Øvstebø announced in August that she planned to step down from the helm of the Renaissance Society after a seven-year tenure, during which time she bolstered the institution’s endowment, launched a new series of programming dedicated to performance, and oversaw the twenty solo exhibitions of artists such as Kevin Beasley, Alejandro Cesarco, and Nora Schultz.

“It has been a true honor to serve the Renaissance Society and to work with such brilliant artists and inspiring colleagues over these last seven years,” said Øvstebø. “I will miss Chicago and the institution dearly, but I look forward very much to leading the Astrup Fearnley Museet as it enters a new chapter, building on its amazing history as a pioneer in Norway of collecting and presenting international contemporary art.” Prior to leading the Renaissance Society, Øvstebø served as the director of Bergen Kunsthall from 2003 to 2013.

Bjørn Rønneberg, president of the board at the Astrup Fearnley Museet, said, “Her strong artistic vision along with her demonstrated experience in building institutions, will make her an outstanding leader here and an exceptional guide for the further development of our collection. I would also like to warmly thank Gunnar B. Kvaran for his longstanding commitment to this institution.”


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