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Palm Springs Art Museum names Louis Grachos its new director

Palm Springs Art Museum names Louis Grachos its new director
Louis Grachos has been named the director of the Palm Springs Art Museum. (Leonid Furmansky)

The Palm Springs Art Museum on Wednesday announced a new director: Louis Grachos, who comes from the Contemporary Austin in Texas.

Grachos served as director of the Contemporary Austin for six years, steering a renovation and expansion of the museum’s downtown space, the Jones Center on Congress Avenue. He also created a contemporary sculpture program featuring international artists at the museum’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park.

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At the Palm Springs Art Museum, Grachos plans to “develop strong exhibitions programs and deepen the museum’s commitment to arts education and outreach,” he said in the announcement.

“I am inspired by the ever-growing community surrounding the museum, and I believe that the three uniquely distinct sites that comprise it present an extraordinary opportunity to further develop and nurture Palm Springs as a rich cultural destination.”

The Palm Springs Art Museum, founded in 1938 as the Palm Springs Desert Museum, has been primarily focused on design and contemporary art since 2004. Besides the main museum site, the organization also runs the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, also downtown, and a satellite exhibition space in Palm Desert.

The main museum’s current exhibition, “Unsettled: Art on the New Frontier,” organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, is a broad survey of Southwestern art. “Photography From the Permanent Collection: A Closer Look” features images by John Divola, Joe Deal, Christina Fernandez and others, also in the main museum. “Hugh Kaptur: Organic Desert Architecture” is running in the Architecture and Design Center.

Prior to managing the Contemporary Austin, Grachos served as executive director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., and was director of SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico.

Previous Palm Springs Art Museum director Elizabeth Armstrong resigned in September, and board trustee Mark Prior has been serving as interim chief executive since then.

Grachos takes his post in June.

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