Renaissance Society head leaving

Staff Writer

After 40 years at the helm Renaissance Society executive director Susanne Ghez announced that she would be stepping down next summer.

Renaissance Society board president Greg Cameron made the announcement in a press release recently. The board will be bringing Solveig Øvstebø from Norway to take over the century-old Hyde Park art institution.

Øvstebø is currently the director of Bergen Kunsthall, an avant-garde contemporary art space that she has headed since 2003. During that time Kergen Kunsthall has grown into one of the main art institutions in Europe.
“There was a transition committee and they did a very thorough international search and there are lots of similarities in our institutions,” said Ghez. “(Øvstebø) has built her institution in Norway from a small budget to a considerable budget, which is the same as ours, there’s been overlap in programming. So we’re definitely on the same page. I think she’ll be a great addition to the community.”

Øvstebø will remain in Norway until June, when she will take over the Renaissance Society. Until then, Ghez will remain in her position.

Ghez said she isn’t sure what her next step will be.

“It’s been 40 years. I think anniversaries are good markers of time to reflect and to move,” Ghez said. “I’m taking some time to reflect, to consider my options. I’m not sure yet (what I’ll do) it’ll be something that involves art … art is essential to my happiness.”