Jun 18, 2019

On behalf of Chancellor Gillman, it is our privilege to announce that Kim Kanatani has been appointed the first museum director of the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art. A nationally renowned museum leader, Kim will join UCI in August from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she serves as deputy director and the Gail Engelberg Director of Education. She has also served as an adjunct professor in New York University’s Museum Studies Program.
During her years with the Guggenheim, she developed a reputation as one of the visionaries in the museum field, creating programs for people of all ages and co-producing multimedia productions, interpretive installations, and exhibitions with a range of today’s most exciting artists. Before joining the Guggenheim in 2001, Kim was the director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Kim’s leadership will be key in realizing our vision for establishing UCI IMCA as a comprehensive center for the study, research, and exhibition of the distinctive work of California’s artists from the early 19th century to the present. Her inspiring energy, talent for creative collaboration, scholarly rigor and deep commitment to advancement and civic engagement will be invaluable as we move forward with developing programs and constructing a permanent home for UCI IMCA on campus.

We are grateful to the search committee and its chair, Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor and chair of African American Studies, for their dedicated efforts and vital contributions to the search process. I would also like to thank Claire Trevor School of the Arts Dean Stephen Barker for his leadership role in establishing UCI IMCA, launching the First Glimpse of the Buck Collection exhibition, as well as his active role in the recruitment for the new museum director.

We look forward to Kim becoming a member of the Anteater family. Please join us in welcoming her to UCI.


Enrique J. Lavernia, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science