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The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) today announced the appointment of Zoë Ryan as the institution’s new Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director, effective November 5, 2020.
Ms. Ryan is a world-renowned curator and scholar who is currently John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been at the Art Institute since 2006, when she was appointed the inaugural Neville Bryan Curator of Design, following six years at the Van Alen Institute in New York. An expert in architecture and design and their impact on evolving social and cultural contexts, she has focused at the Art Institute on building the museum’s collection of 20th and 21st century architecture and design with work that expands definitions of these fields, emphasizes cross disciplinary ideas, and recognizes overlooked figures and narratives. This culminated in the major 2017 installation, Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute.
“Zoë Ryan embodies our great Penn spirit of wide-ranging curiosity, of informing contemporary practices with their deep roots in history and theory, and of understanding how art profoundly impacts – and is profoundly impacted by – its social contexts,” says University of Pennsylvania Provost Wendell Pritchett. “Her vibrant scholarship and inclusive leadership will make her a transformative leader of ICA in the essential years ahead. I am very grateful to John McInerney, who has served with extraordinary grace and distinction as Interim Director of ICA; the invaluable ICA staff, who are sustaining ICA’s historic mission even in this challenging year; and the consultative committee, chaired by Professor Anita Allen, whose insightful and judicious work helped us arrive at this exciting result.”
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