Julián Zugazagoitia, current director of El Museo del Barrio, New York
Repeat after me: “HOO-lian SZU-ga-sa-GOY-tee-ah.”
Julián Zugazagoitia, 46, will succeed Marc Wilson (much easier to pronounce), the venerable veteran director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, on Sept. 1. That leaves a three-month interregnum: Marc announced June 1 as his retirement date.
Another Tom Krens Guggenheim protégé who made good, Julián is a consummate museum professional—lowkey and unassuming but intelligent, congenial, effective. And he speaks six languages. A native of Mexico City and current director of New York’s El Museo del Barrio, Zugazagoitia oversaw that institution’s recent major renovation and expansion, as well as its $44-million capital campaign,
El Museo del Barrio, an institution dedicated to Latino culture, now has big shoes to fill. This is yet another move in the great directorial tradition of “oversee a big capital project; leave the museum.”
UPDATE: You can see a video of Zugazagoitia at his new institution on the Kansas City Star‘s website, here. He really needs to slow down for Midwesterners when he enunciates his name!