Tel Aviv Museum of Art Picks New Chief Curator

Mira Lapidot comes with more than two decades of experience at the Israel Museum, where she curated exhibitions of leading artists, like the first exhibition in Israel of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

Naama Riba
Naama Riba
Mira Lapidot, the new chief curator of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Mira Lapidot, the new chief curator of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Credit: Nitai Parnes
Naama Riba
Naama Riba

Mira Lapidot has been chosen to serve as the chief curator of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The choice of Lapidot, who resigned from her job as chief curator of fine arts at the Israel Museum in January 2020, comes about a month and a half after the departure of the previous curator of the Tel Aviv Museum, Doron Rabina, after four years on the job.

“I’m happy and excited to join the staff of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art,” said Lapidot. “I’m grateful for the confidence in me, and for the opportunity to do significant, expansive and exciting things for a large and varied audience. The artists are our partners – their work is the reason for the existence of the museum and the vibrant spirit in times such as these.”

There were 16 candidates for the job, with four of them reaching the final stage. Lapidot is expected to assume the post in the coming weeks.

“Mira brings with her a great deal of knowledge and ability in creating a varied and exciting exhibition program, managing collections and working together with the team of curators,” the search committee said. Her appointment was expected, one reason being her familiarity with the director of the Tel Aviv Museum, Tania Coen-Uzzielli, who filled senior positions at the Israel Museum before her appointment as director of the Tel Aviv Museum.

Lapidot, 49, is a Jerusalem native with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art history from Hebrew University. She filled various positions in the Israel Museum for 22 years, including in the education division.

As part of her job as chief curator of the fine arts in the Israel Museum, she was responsible for about 30 employees and over 100 exhibitions and projects. She also headed an art acquisitions group and was in charge of the museum’s awards. She curated exhibitions of leading artists, such as the first exhibition in Israel of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, a retrospective for Christian Boltanski, and the video installation “Manifesto” by Julian Rosefeldt.

With the departure of Rabina, Lapidot’s predecessor, it was reported that he “is expected to continue to cooperate with the museum and to curate large-scale exhibitions planned for the coming years, on which he is now working.” In an interview with Haaretz two days after the news of his resignation, Rabina declared, “I always remembered that I’m not the museum.”

Museum director Coen-Uzzielli said she “welcomes the committee’s choice of Lapidot as the chief curator of the museum. This is a central position on the Israeli art scene, which is particularly complex and challenging at this time, in light of the worldwide coronavirus crisis. Mira bring with her an inspiring curating vision, and I’m certain that she will contribute a great deal to realizing the cultural agenda of the Tel Aviv Museum as the leading art institution in Israel, and to establishing and strengthening its central position worldwide.”

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