Philippe Vergne

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Philippe Vergne (born 1966) is a French curator and, until March 2019,[1] director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).[2] He was the director of the Dia Art Foundation, New York from 2008 to 2014 and the deputy director and Chief Curator of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, from 2005 to 2008.[2][3]


Vergne was born in Troyes, France in 1966.[2] He received a BA in law from Panthéon-Assas University, Paris, in 1988, a BA in archeology and the history of modern art from Paris-Sorbonne University, Paris, where he also got a MA in 1991 and a MAS in 1992.[4]


He became director of the newly created Mac (Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille) in 1994 until 1997.[5] He then was hired by the Walker Art Center as a senior curator from 1997 to 2005.[5] Francois Pinault then hired him to head the François Pinault Foundation for Contemporary Art.[5] He came back to the Walker in 2005 as a deputy director and was the co-curator in 2006 of the Whitney Biennial. In collaboration with Yasmil Raymond at the Walker Art Center, Vergne arranged an award winning exhibition of the work of Kara Walker which traveled on to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.[6] The exhibition titled Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love was awarded the 2008 Best Monographic Museum Show Nationally from the International Association of Art Critics.[7] He became in 2008 the director of the Dia Art Foundation, New York City, until 2014. The MoCA appointed him as a director in January 2014.[8]

"Mr. Vergne’s firing [in March 2018] of the chief curator, Helen Molesworth, became an embarrassment for the museum. Known for her acclaimed shows of Kerry James Marshall and Anna Maria Maiolino (and for not supporting an upcoming show of Mark Grotjahn, a board favorite), Ms. Molesworth was fired suddenly, for reasons that were never made clear, with the media spreading the news of her departure before a short official museum statement was made. Mr. Vergne never issued a public statement on the decision."[9] In May 2018, it was announced that his MoCA contract was not renewed, and he will depart the role in March 2019.[1]



  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c Finkel, Jori; Kennedy, Randy (2014-01-15). "The Museum of Contemporary Art Picks Philippe Vergne, of the Dia Art Foundation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  3. ^ Vogel, Carol (2008-06-24). "Dia Art Foundation Names a Curator as Its New Director". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  4. ^ "MOCA Board of Trustees Names Philippe Vergne as Museum Director". The Collector Tribune. 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  5. ^ a b c "Walker Senior Curator Philippe Vergne Appointed Director of New François Pinault Foundation for Contemporary Art Set to Open in 2007 — Press Releases — Press — Walker Art Center". Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  6. ^ "Dia Foundation". Midway Contemporary Art. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  7. ^ "JCVA - Yasmil Raymond - Biography". Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  8. ^ "Los Angeles Museum Names a New Director". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "L.A. MOCA's Philippe Vergne Awarded French Legion of Honor". Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Walker Curator Is Named Chevalier des Arts et Lettres". Retrieved 5 May 2015.