Astrup Fearnley Museum appoints new chief

Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo

After seven years as executive director and chief curator at the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society museum, Solveig Øvstebø is to return to her native Norway to head up the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo. She replaces Gunnar B. Kvaran as executive director. 

The Astrup Fearnley is a private museum which has been housed in two Renzo Piano-buildings since 2012. Its collection, owned by the Fearnley shipping dynasty, is particularly rich in American art from the 1980s and 1990s. Among the work owned is Jeff Koons’s $5.1 million porcelain depiction of Michael Jackson with his pet chimp Bubbles. 

Announcing his resignation in the summer, Kvaran, who has also curated several biennials, said ‘When Hans Rasmus Astrup stepped down as chairman of the museum board in 2018, I felt it was the end of an era, and after 19 intense years as director, it’s time for me to hand over the responsibility to a new generation’.

Øvstebø was director of the Bergen Kunsthall from 2003 to 2013.

10 December 2019