Art Museum Adds Staff, Works


The Orange County Museum of Art named a new curator Thursday and announced the revamping of its permanent collection and the acquisition of major works believed to be valued in excess of $150,000.

The new curator, Irene E. Hofmann, will join Deputy Director of Art and Chief Curator Elizabeth Armstrong and curator Sarah Vure on Oct. 1. Hofmann will be curator of contemporary art.

"This is the largest curatorial team the museum has ever had," said OCMA board chairman emeritus Charles Martin.

Hofmann comes to OCMA from the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where she was exhibitions curator.

Born in New York, she attended Rowland Heights High in Walnut, Calif., and graduated in 1991 with a bachelor's in art history from Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her master's degree in modern art history, theory and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993.

At Cranbrook, Hofmann established a reputation for producing cutting-edge, topical and internationally focused exhibitions with an emphasis on video and digital media.

She will work with Armstrong, who is reorganizing the museum's permanent collection from a chronological to a thematic order.

The new acquisitions, to be shown in August, add depth to the permanent collection, Armstrong said.

"They effectively expand the museum's collection of international contemporary art while providing significant examples of major movements and media from the past 20 years," Armstrong said.

They include: a mixed-media work on velvet by Peter Alexander (1975-80); a collaborative work by Nam June Paik and Joseph Beuys (1984-86); paintings by Glenn Ligon and David Reed (1990s); sculptural works by Oscar Munoz and Alfred Ramirez (1990s); a sculpture by Lee Bul (2000); and a drawing by Mark Lere.

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