Charles Desmarais, director of the California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside, has been selected as the new director of the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, a post vacant since William Otton left the position in November.
Desmarais, 39, has been in the museum field for 15 years. He was a curator at the Friends of Photography in Carmel in the early '70s and was director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Photography before assuming his current position.
He is a native of New York and earned a master of fine arts degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
From 1977 to 1981 he also served as editor of Exposure, a quarterly journal for photography teachers. In 1979, he received an art critic's fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Last fall he began writing a biweekly column on art for the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Desmarais will leave his Riverside position Sept. 30. A museum spokeswoman said the starting date of his full-time employment at the Laguna museum has not been determined. She would not comment on Desmarais' salary but said it was more than the low-$40,000s figure Otton was making when he left the museum to take over as president of the Art Institute of Southern California in Laguna Beach.