The Austin Museum of Art
announced in January that Dana Friis‐Hansen, Executive Director and Chief Curator, was leaving the Museum. Friis‐Hansen joined the Museum as Chief Curator in 1999 and from 2002 until January 2011, he served as both Chief Curator and Executive Director. In his eight years leading the organization, he was responsible for and involved in strategic planning, managing the museums professional staff, fundraising and budget oversight, as well as his curatorial duties.
Dana has always had great enthusiasm for contemporary art and for artists in particular. One of his greatest contributions to the Austin community has been the connections he has forged with local artists and the exposure he has offered them, said Board of Trustees President Lynn Sherman. Dana is energetic, hardworking, dependable, and of unquestioned integrity. I think his skills, experience and personal attributes will be a good addition to any museum.
During his tenure, Friis‐Hansen organized 13 exhibitions and supervised the presentation of more than 30 traveling exhibitions, including Andy Warhol, Any Golds-worthy, and Christo and Jeanne‐Claude. Also during that time, museum attendance climbed from approximately 38,000 visitors to nearly 80,000.
With the sale of its downtown block, the Austin Museum of Art is at an exciting crossroads. This has offered me an opportunity to pursue different creative, personal and professional goals, said Friis‐Hansen. The timing is right for me to pass the torch to strong new leadership with my excitement about the bright future that lies ahead for everyone associated with museum. I am now looking forward to bringing my creative energies to another platform.