DMA Announces Creation of Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art

Internationally renowned curator María de Corral, guest curator of the DMA’s Fast Forward exhibition, returns in Adjunct capacity for 2008

The creation of the position of The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art was announced today by John R. Lane, the Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA.  Its establishment by Adelyn Hoffman with a gift of $5 million is in recognition of the significant and passionate leadership of the DMA by her son, the late Robert Hoffman, and his wife Marguerite and continues their commitment to secure and maintain the Museum’s national and international prominence.  

This new staff position follows the unprecedented gift to the Museum, which was spearheaded by the Hoffmans, of three private collections – theirs as well as the modern and contemporary art collections of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Deedie and Rusty Rose. Announced in 2005, the joint collection gift is believed to be the first of its kind for museums in the United States and marks an important example of cultural leaders joining together to vest the city with their distinguished collections.  Last year, the DMA presented Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, an exhibition celebrating the gift and offering the first opportunity for the public to view these exceptional, once-private collections, along with gifts from other generous Dallas collectors and selections of masterworks already in the DMA’s collection, in a conjoined, comprehensive manner.

For that exhibit, the DMA invited María de Corral, an internationally renowned exhibition organizer and museum director, to serve as guest curator.  Today, she has been named the Hoffman Family Adjunct Senior Curator of Contemporary Art for 2008. As such, among her responsibilities is advising Museum leadership on the appointment of a future, resident Hoffman Family Senior Curator.

In making the announcement, Dr. Lane said, “María de Corral possesses, in addition to one of the most distinguished resumes and esteemed reputations in the international contemporary art world, a thorough knowledge of the Dallas collections gained from organizing the Museum’s Fast Forward exhibition. We know she will make an important contribution towards ensuring that the DMA’s exhibitions and collecting initiatives are both vital and informed. It is highly appropriate that the founding Hoffman curator be a person of such accomplishment and distinction since those are precisely the qualities that the Hoffman family wants to make synonymous with the Dallas Museum of Art’s contemporary art program.” 

De Corral is an art critic and independent curator based in Madrid. She was co-director of the 2005 Venice Biennale and, from 1990 to 1994, the director of the Reina Sofía, the national museum of modern and contemporary art in Madrid. From 1995 until 2002, she was director of the contemporary art collection of Fundación “la Caixa,” the culmination of a relationship with this institution that she began in 1981, and where she was responsible for exhibitions featuring such artists as Arshile Gorky, Giorgio Morandi, Ed Ruscha, Francesco Clemente, David Salle, and Georg Baselitz.  In 2004, de Corral curated Joan Miró: Traspasando los límites at the Centro Guerrero de la Diputación de Granada, Spain and Julian Schnabel: Pinturas 1978-2003 at the Reina Sofía.

In the United States, de Corral served as a member of the advisory committee for the 1988 Carnegie International exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and, for nearly 15 years, she has been a member of the Visual Arts International Advisory Council of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. She was Secretary/Treasurer of the International Council of Museums/International Committee of Museums of Modern Art from 1990-1996. Among her many citations, de Corral was awarded the Gold Medal Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid in 2007. She has twice been distinguished by the French Minister of Culture, first as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1993 and, in 2002, as an Officier de l’Order des Arts et des Lettres. Her academic studies in the history of art were with the Facultad de Filosofía, Letras e Historia of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

De Corral will hold title of Hoffman Family Adjunct Senior Curator of Contemporary Art for one year, during which time she will curate the upcoming Dallas presentation of Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, opening in November and which Time magazine named as one of the Top 10 museum exhibitions of 2007 at its debut in San Francisco.  In addition to advising the Museum on its search for a resident senior curator of contemporary art, she will also develop permanent collection opportunities, advise on future exhibition programming, and suggest installations utilizing art works recently committed to the Museum by Dallas collectors. She will work closely with Charles Wylie, the DMA’s Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art, and Suzanne Weaver, the Nancy and Tim Hanley Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. De Corral’s role is consultative; Wylie continues in his role as resident department head for contemporary art.

About the Dallas Museum of Art:  The 23,000 works of art in the DMA's encyclopedic collections span 5,000 years of history and represent all media with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art. It is the only general art museum in North Texas. The Dallas Museum of Art is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District and serves as a cultural magnet for the city with diverse programming ranging from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, dramatic and dance presentations, and a full spectrum of programs designed to engage people of all ages with the power and excitement of art.