Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker

Director Emerita
Frye Art Museum
Seattle, United States

Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker is director of the Frye Art Museum Seattle and former director of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, Germany, and the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada. She has served as director/curator of numerous international research and exhibition projects on the history of the modern at these institutions as well as Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and International Center of Photography, MoMA- PS1, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2012 Birnie Danzker represented the United States at the inaugural US-China Forum on the Arts and Culture at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Since 2009 she has presented papers at the Singapore Art Museum; Center for Aesthetics and Aesthetic Education, Peking University; China Academy of Fine Arts Beijing; China Academy of Art Hangzhou; Zhejiang Art Museum Hangzhou; National Museum of China Beijing; and Third China Private Art Museum Development Forum at the Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan. Birnie Danzker served as Speaker for the Municipal Museums of the City of Munich in 2003 and 2006 and was a member of the Steering Committee for Administrative Reform of the Department of Culture and the Subcommittee for the Reform of Municipal Museums. She also served on the Advisory Committee for Exhibitions, Goethe Institute InterNationes. In Vancouver Canada, she served as Vice-Chairman, Special Council Committee on the Arts and Chairman, Subcommittee on Cultural Diversity, City of Vancouver; and Head Moderator for British Columbia, Royal Commission, Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future.

As a member of CIMAM for over twenty years, I deeply value the unparalleled calibre of discourse that our annual conferences offers and that impact my work as a museum professional so profoundly. Stewarding the important work of CIMAM as a member of its Board would be a tremendous privilege.

I would bring to my duties the perspective of a curator who began her career in Toronto, London, and Milan before serving as a museum director in Vancouver, Munich, and Seattle. I have deep ties to the Pacific where I was born (in the tropics of Australia) and to Asia, especially China, where I have had the privilege of articipating in academic and professional exchanges since 1999. I have dedicated my professional career to collaborative research and exhibition projects with museums around the globe. Among projects I directed and / or co-curated with international colleagues are The Short Century (guest curator Okwui Enwezor); Shanghai Modern (a joint project of the City of Shanghai and the City of Munich); and The Avantgarde and the Ukraine.

I believe that global cooperation and exchange are essential if we are to identify, and respond to, urgent needs and ethical and practical issues faced today by modern and contemporary art institutions and the audiences they erve. At the Frye Art Museum we have placed our most dearly held assumptions in question and committed to the transformation and recalibration of our institution in order to respond to these fundamental issues, especially access and inclusion.