Appointments Austria

Vienna director steps down

Come to China, says Thomas Krens

Noever with Anish Kapoor's paint cannon at MAK

vienna. After 25 years at the helm of Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), its visionary director Peter Noever has announced that he will step down at the end of 2011.

Noever transformed the museum, working with leading artists, including the late Donald Judd, to reinstall the decorative art collection. Noever also opened a branch in Los Angeles’s Schindler House, and staged controversial exhibitions including a recent show of North Korean propaganda art.

The director’s departure has been overshadowed. A month before the Austrian minister of culture was to announce whether his contract would be extended, the Green Party submitted an inquiry to parliament in October following allegations that he had mismanaged resources. Before a decision was made, Noever said he would not seek a renewal of his contract.

Noever told The Art Newspaper: “There has been a media campaign against me.” He said that it was partly motivated by critics wishing to “domesticate the MAK”.

Noever has received a surprising job offer, however: to work in Beijing with Thomas Krens, the former director of the Guggenheim. Krens made the offer at a ceremony in Vienna at the end of November when Noever received an award for his contribution to the city.

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