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The Art Institute Has a New President

Longtime contemporary curator James Rondeau will take over as president and director of the Art Institute February 16.

James Rondeau   PHOTO: ANNA KNOTT

Another day, another big story for the Art Institute. After nabbing its largest cash gift in history yesterday ($35 million from the late collector Dorothy Braude Edinburg), the Tribune reported today that the museum’s longtime contemporary curator James Rondeau will succeed Douglas Druick as president starting February 16.

In his 18 years at the Art Institute, Rondeau, 46, has made strides in growing the museum’s formerly dismal contemporary collection. His recent accolades include a 160-piece Lichtenstein show in 2012, last year’s controversial Charles Ray retrospective, and, of course, that shiny new pop art exhibit, totaling 44 new works worth $400 million. It’s not yet known how Rondeau will spend the fresh $35 million at his fingertips, but judging by his track record, expect it to be forward-looking.

And where do Rondeau’s personal tastes lie? He recently took Chicago inside his Edgewater condo to show a few of his favorite things.

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