Beatrix Ruf, CIMAM member and former Director of the Stedelijk Museum, joins Garage in Moscow

7 November 2019

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Written by Taylor Dafoe and published originally by artnet, 5 November 2019.

Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art has hired Beatrix Ruf, the former director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. She will not be on staff, but working in a “senior capacity on strategy and development,” a representative for the museum said.

Anton Belov, director of the Garage, said that he will work with Ruf on the “museum’s long-term development” and that she’ll “contribute her vision to the exhibition program, planning, education, and partnership projects at Garage.”

“We started working with Beatrix Ruf a number of years ago, when she became a member of the Museum’s Advisory Council,” Belov said in a statement. “It is clear that her vision for the development of Garage aligns with ours, and expands it. We’re very excited to bring her on board.”

One of Europe’s most influential curators, Ruf served as director of the Kunsthalle Zurich from 2001 until 2014, when she was appointed the head of the Stedelijk. In 2017, she was ensnared in controversy when a Dutch newspaper published a report detailing how the director had simultaneously operated a private consultancy—netting her $500 million annually—while leading the Amsterdam institution. Two weeks later, she stepped down from her position.

Ruf maintained that the incident was a “misunderstanding,” and that her consultancy had been approved by the Stedelijk board. She also claimed that the income reported in the newspaper was inflated due to a bonus she received for work done prior to her job at the museum. Eight months after her resignation, a private 120-page report funded by the Municipality of Amsterdam found that Ruf was “wrongly accused” of a conflict of interest.

Days after the report went public, three Stedelijk members resigned in an effort to “end the turmoil” at the institution. Earlier this year, the museum issued a puzzling press release noting that it had made amends with the curator, who called her time at the museum a “happy memory.”