Thomas Krens, who has been director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for almost 20 years, will step down as soon as a successor is found, reports the New York Times. It is believed that Krens will remain as part of the Guggenheim in a senior advisor role and will oversee the creation of a 452,000-square-foot satellite museum in the Abu Dhabi, designed by Frank Gehry.
Krens leaves his position with the credit of developing the Guggenheim Foundation into an expansive international network, however has also come under criticism by some for reportedly neglecting the growth of the collection in favor of developing franchises. His most public fall-out came with the museum’s biggest benefactor Peter Lewis, who believed Krens should have pooled his resources more effectively to develop the New York base.
The new appointment will not only take charge of Guggenheim New York, but will also oversee the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas.