New Yorker Selected As New Head Of Ica Claudia Gould Has Been Running Artists Space. She Is Known For Solving Financial Problems.

Posted: May 28, 1999

Claudia Gould, executive director of Artists Space in New York City, has been named new director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.

She will succeed Patrick T. Murphy, who resigned last fall to accept a job as head of the galleries of the Royal Hibernian Academy in his native Dublin.

In a statement announcing the appointment, Robert L. Barchi, provost at Penn, said Gould "demonstrated excellent financial-management skills" at Artists Space.

"It is her unique blend of creative and management expertise that made her the perfect choice for the ICA," Barchi said.

Gould, 42, who begins her duties at ICA in September, has been head of Artists Space, an alternative gallery, since 1994. During her years there, she stabilized finances, established an endowment fund, and broadened the organization's funding base.

Over the past two years, Penn officials have pressed ICA and other university-based cultural operations to rein in expenses and eliminate deficit spending. In response, ICA has trimmed its staff, imposed other cost controls, and begun a fund-raising campaign designed to reduce reliance on annual university subsidies of about $200,000.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Gould said she was very aware of financial realities at ICA and would seek to strengthen the institute's ability to handle those realities.

"I think that's a big focus," she said. "I'm trying to integrate ICA with Penn as well as with the larger Philadelphia community. But particularly with Penn. There is a need to pay more attention to financials, for sure. Corporate support is very low.. . ."

As far as the exhibition program is concerned, Gould said, "I don't think ICA's mission will change at all.

"I have a particular interest in architecture and design disciplines, but in no way will they predominate," she said. "They are already part of museums, so why shouldn't they be part of contemporary art centers?"

ICA will retain its focus on contemporary artists, she said. "These are dynamic times in the contemporary art world, and the ICA will continue to reflect the diverse, creative energy of emerging contemporary artists."

Gould, who holds a B.A. in art history from Boston College and a degree in museum studies from New York University, joined Artists Space a few years after that organization came under attack over an exhibition exploring the impact of the AIDS epidemic.

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