Roundtable “What Will Be Tomorrow’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art?”

Friday 12 January 2018 - Auditorium

10 a.m.
table-ronde header
Roundtable “What Will Be Tomorrow’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art?”

Roundtable organised by the Artistic Direction in conjunction with the exhibition Being Modern: MoMA in Paris.


"What Will Be Tomorrow’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art?"


A day of dialogue at the Fondation Louis Vuitton


Continuing a series first begun in 2015 with the Keys to a Passion exhibition and entitled Who is Writing Today’s Art History?, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is holding a new day of discussions on 12 January 2018 in conjunction with the Being Modern: MoMA in Paris exhibition.


This exhibition, in which art history and museum history dovetail, could be seen as a manifesto of the basic principles of the new MoMA, scheduled to open in 2019. With this roundtable, it is an opportunity to study and challenge the models, achievements and hypotheses developed by some of most prominent museums in the field of modern and contemporary art and the construction of specific collections.


Today, these museums must establish a new course of action in a globalised landscape transformed by new technologies. The creation of collections has been profoundly changed by the redefinition of the concepts of “centre” and “periphery”, the heterogeneity of artistic proposals and cultural referents, as well as consideration for other historical narratives and perspectives.


These questions will be explored during two roundtables collectively entitled “What Will Be Tomorrow’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art?”


Hans Ulrich Obrist


He is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show World Soup (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 300 shows.


Obrist’s recent publications include Mondialité or the Archipelagos of Édouard Glissant (Skira), Conversations in Colombia (La Oficina del Doctor), Ways of Curating (Penguins Books), The Age of Earthquakes with Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar (Penguins Books) and Lives of The Artists, Lives of The Architects (Penguins Books).


Dr. Maria Balshaw CBE

Tate Galleries, United Kingdom

Maria Balshaw succeeded Sir Nicholas Serota as Director of Tate on 1 June 2017. Previously, as Director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries, Maria was responsible for the artistic and strategic vision for each gallery. Maria was also Director of Culture for Manchester City Council from 2013-2017. She is a board member of Arts Council England and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the arts in June 2015.

Bernard Blistène

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Since 2013, Bernard Blistène has directed the Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de Création Industrielle at the Centre Pompidou, of which he was Cultural Development Director from 2008 to 2013. As head of the Marseille’s multiple museums from 1990 to 1996, one of his achievements was the founding of the Mac contemporary art museum.

Marking the Centre Pompidou’s fortieth anniversary, the Musée national d'art moderne just restructured the visitor path for its contemporary collections, following the redisposition of the modern-period displays completed in 2015. Every six months, a great number of dossier exhibitions promote thematic and analytical exploration of the collection.

Thelma Golden

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem since 2005, after having been its Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs, Thelma Golden was previously curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Studio Museum in Harlem opened in 1968 as a cutting-edge experiment, dedicated to African-American artists and artists of African descent.  

The museum, whose collection encompasses more than 2,000 works by 400 artists and spanning two centuries, offers temporary exhibitions and a residency program.


Michael Govan

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, USA

After serving as president and director of the Dia Art Foundation from 1994 to 2006 and overseeing the creation of the Dia:Beacon, Michael Govan has been CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) since 2006. The museum, with collections covering from antiquity to present day and with a global geographic spectrum, devotes much of its programme to modern and contemporary art.  

In 2008, the LACMA opened a wing built by Renzo Piano, the Broad Art Contemporary Museum. The opening of a new building designed by Peter Zumthor (David Geffen Galleries), scheduled for 2023, will parallel a new presentation of the LACMA collections.

Glenn D. Lowry

The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York, USA

Glenn D. Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 1995, guided the Museum’s expansion and capital campaign in 2004 and is currently overseeing the MoMA expansion in conjunction with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. This project parallels a reconfiguration of the museum’s visitor path.  

Among Mr Lowry’s initiatives as head of MoMA are the merger of the museum with the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center – a site dedicated to contemporary creation in Queens –, the 2009 creation of a Media and Performance Art curatorial department and establishment of the Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives in a Global Age Initiative (C-MAP).


Mikhaïl Borisovich Piotrovsky

Graduated from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University and the University of Cairo, specializing in Arabic Studies, doctor in history and searcher at Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies from 1967, Dr. Piotrovski  has been appointed director of the State Hermitage Museum in 1992, after being invited to join  the Museum in 1991 as First Deputy Director.

Dr. Piotrovski has taken part in archaeological excavations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Yemen. He is an author of more than 250 works including catalogues of Arabic manuscripts, publications of Medieval monuments and ancient inscriptions, works on Islamic political history and Arabic culture.


Élisabeth Lebovici

Art historian and critic Elisabeth Lebovici published art criticism pieces in France’s Libération daily newspaper (where she became Arts and Culture Editor) from 1991 to 2006. She continues her work across many media. She co-authored with Catherine Gonnard Artistes/femmes: Paris de 1880 à nos jours (published by Hazan) and published Ce que le sida m'a fait - Art et activisme à la fin du XXe siècle (What AIDS Has Done to Me: Art and Activism at the End of the 20th century) (Association des amis de la Maison Rouge - JRP|Ringier) in 2017.

Since 2006, she has been a co-organiser of the weekly seminar Something You Should Know: Artists and Producers at Paris’ Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.

Zdenka Badovinac

Since 1993, Zdenka Badovinac has managed the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, comprised since 2011 of two locations in the Slovenian capital: the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova. In this position, she initiated the first collection of Eastern European art, Moderna galerija’s 2000+ Arteast Collection.  

She served as President of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) from 2011 to 2013. One of her most recent projects, the exhibition NSK from Kapital to Capital – An Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, just ended its run at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.    



Manuel Borja-Villel

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

Since 2008, Manuel Borja-Villel has been Director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), an institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art. 

One of the most visited museums in Spain, the Museo Reina Sofía is known for its collections and programmes that reinforce ​​a museum’s role as a place of research and commitment, a continuation of the philosophy applied by Manuel Borja-Villel at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies from 1990 to 1998 and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) from 1998 to 2008.

Prof. Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany


Susanne Gaensheimer, Director of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf (K20, K21 and F3), one of Europe’s most important post-war museums, was previously head of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main.  

She curated the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011 presenting the work of filmmaker and theatre director Christoph Schlingensief, an exhibition that was awarded the Golden Lion. She also curated the German Pavilion in 2013, where she chose to display the works of Romuald Karmakar, Ai Wei Wei, Dayanita Singh and Santu Mofokeng.


Helen Molesworth

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, USA

Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Moca) in Los Angeles since 2014, Helen Molesworth was previously the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (2010-2014), Head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museum (2007-2010) and Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (2002-2007). In 2011, she received the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies Award for Curatorial Excellence.

Established in 1979 and committed to the collection, presentation and interpretation of art created after 1940, MOCA is the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles. Its exhibits and programmes are divided between three venue: MOCA Grand Avenue, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and MOCA Pacific Design Center.

Franklin Sirmans

Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, Florida, USA

Since October 2015, Franklin Sirmans has been Director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), an institution dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century art with exhibits and programmes based on the diversity of the city’s communities and its geographic location.  

From 2010 to 2015, he headed the Contemporary Art Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), a position that followed his responsibilities as curator for modern and contemporary art at the Menil Foundation (Houston). He was the Artistic Director of the 2014 Prospect New Orleans biennial exhibition, P3: Notes for Now.

The essential

Friday 12 January 2018
10 a.m. - Auditorium



Roundtable 1

10 am - 12.30 pm


Hans Ulrich Obrist, moderator

Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London

Maria Balshaw, speaker

Director of the Tate (London)

Bernard Blistène, speaker

Director of the Centre Pompidou (Paris)

Thelma Golden, speaker

Director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York)

Michael Govan, speaker

Director of the LACMA (Los Angeles)

Glenn D. Lowry, speaker

Director of the MoMA (New York)

Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, speaker

Director of the State Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg)


Roundtable 2

2 pm – 4.30 pm


Élisabeth Lebovici, moderator

Art historian and critic

Zdenka Badovinac, speaker

Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana

Manuel Borja-Villel, speaker

Director of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid

Susanne Gaensheimer, speaker

Director of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf

Helen Molesworth, speaker

Chief curator of the MoCA in Los Angeles

Franklin Sirmans, speaker

Director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami

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