Matthias Waschek to Leave Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
January 5, 2011

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 5, 2011 — Matthias Waschek, who since 2003 has helped shape the identity of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and secure its place in the front ranks of small American art institutions, will step down as Director, it was announced today.

 “The opportunity to shape a new institution is one that comes along at best once in a lifetime,” Waschek said. “My experience at the Pulitzer has been richly satisfying. With the start of a new year, I think the time has come to begin planning for the next phase in my career and to make my intentions known.”

“We are extremely grateful to Matthias for his outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the Foundation,” said Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Founder and Chair. “We wish him the very best.”

Mrs. Pulitzer said a successor will be selected after a national search. Waschek will remain at the Pulitzer for a transition period of up to six months.

Waschek, 49, received his Ph.D. from Bonn University in Germany. He joined the Pulitzer after 11 years as head of Academic Programs (Art History and Archaeology) at the Louvre in Paris. When he arrived, the Pulitzer had been open just two years. Besides helping to shape the Pulitzer’s identity, his accomplishments have included:

• Establishing an innovative exhibition program informed by the uniqueness of the Pulitzer’s building, which was designed by architect Tadao Ando. Waschek curated such exhibitions as Exploring Ando’s Space: Art & the Spiritual; Brancusi and Serra in Dialogue; Minimalism and Beyond; Portrait/Homage/Embodiment; Water; Ideal (Dis) placements: Old Masters at the Pulitzer, in conjunction with curators from the Harvard Art Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum; and Stylus, a project by Ann Hamilton.

He also oversaw exhibitions by outside curators, including Dan Flavin Constructed Light and The Light Project in Grand Center, in which individuals from several
St. Louis arts institutions curated works by five artists in Grand Center.

• Introducing innovative scholarly, artistic, and community-related programming. For example, during the Old Masters exhibit, the Pulitzer brought former prisoners and homeless veterans together with a theater director, who worked with them to use the paintings as inspiration and to help develop job-seeking skills.

In addition, Waschek oversaw the establishment of a series of contemporary chamber music concerts, programmed by David Robertson, conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. The concerts, in which the music relates to the art on view, have developed an avid following.

• Developing an award winning web-site as well as a series of creative hard copy publications, notably the commission of Joe, featuring photographs of Richard Serra’s sculpture by Hiroshi Sugimoto and text by Jonathan Safran Foer.

 Growing the Pulitzer’s professional staff from six to 16, an increase that included the hiring of a senior curator and a social worker through a joint appointment with the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.

For more information, please contact Paul Wagman at 314-982-1726 or

About the Pulitzer
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts seeks to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of art and architecture. Through works of art, programs, library facility and collaborations with other cultural and educational institutions, the Foundation serves artists, architects, scholars, students and the general public. Integral to the Foundation's mission is the experience of its building, which provides a tranquil place for contemplation, enjoyment and study.


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