Asma Naeem becomes first Pakistani to lead American art museum

Seeks to bring a greater depth of local and global voices into dialogues on history, evolution of art
<p>Asma Naeem. PHOTO/FILE</p>

Asma Naeem. PHOTO/FILE

Asma Naeem has become the first person of Pakistani origin and person of color to lead Baltimore’s Museum of Modern Art in its 109-year-long history.

She will be replacing her predecessor, Christopher Bedford, who left the museum last year to head the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“As we move forward, there is an incredible opportunity to bring a greater depth of local and global voices into the dialogues about the history and evolution of art, about museums as community spaces, and about the relationship between internal culture to external experience—and in doing so create meaningful change in the field,” Naeem said in a statement.

“I am looking forward to working with the exceptional team here and with our many current and future collaborators.”

As a curator, Naeem displayed a sense of humor.

In a feature on her last September, The Baltimore Banner wrote: “When Asma Naeem learned that then President Donald Trump’s portrait would be hung in the National Portrait Gallery, she knew she wanted to do something to counter the optics it created. So she placed a portrait of one of Baltimore’s most well-known native sons, the late rapper Tupac Shakur, directly across from it.”

Asma Naseem

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