The Museum of Arts and Design has selected Christopher Scoates as its next Nanette L. Laitman Director. Currently leading the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, Scoates will bring a diverse range of accomplishments in his four years at the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, art college including building an experimental media department, recruiting a more diverse board, and proven proficiency in fundraising, all of which were cited as highlights of his track record in the official announcement by the New York institution that has seen a parade of directors come and go. Glenn Adamson took over from MAD's long-serving director Holly Hotchner in 2013. He was replaced in 2016 by Jorge Daniel Veneciano, who served only five months at the post before resigning in January 2017. As a new search was underway, MAD board president Michele Cohen served as interim director, and she will be succeeded by Scoates when he officially takes the reins on July 1, 2018.
“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead MAD,” said Scoates in a prepared statement. “I greatly admire the Museum’s track record of experimental exhibitions, and I look forward to building upon its rich history of craft, art, and design. With its dedicated staff and board, I know we can position ourselves as a leading museum in the twenty-first century. I am eager to begin developing new experiences for our audiences that will honor the history of MAD while also using art and design to challenge the way we think about the future.”
Board chair Cohen said, “Chris is a proven leader with over twenty-five years of experience in museum practice and education, whose interests encompass art, craft, design,experimental sound, and new media, and their relationship to contemporary culture.”
Board treasurer and chair of MAD's search committe Michael Dweck said: “Chris distinguished himself throughout the interview process with his deep knowledge, passion, and clear vision for taking MAD into the future.”
Prior to his four-year tenure at Cranbrook, Scoates held posts as the director of the University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach (2005–2014), and chief curator of the University Museum of the University of California, Santa Barbara (2002-2005).
Born in England, Scoates holds a BFA from the University of Florida and an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art. An accomplished writer, he has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues, and his articles have appeared in the New Art Examiner, Sculpture, and Art Papers.