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SF MoMA’s new director David Ross

WHEN DAVID A. ROSS first arrived as director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1991, there was intense skepticism among art-world denizens. The museum’s board had said publicly it wanted a more scholarly balance after Tom Armstrong’s contentious reign, remembered as a lovefest of contemporary solo shows by the gallery establishment’s most fashionable names. But hire Ross, the bad-boy director from Boston’s ICA? It wasn’t too long into his new directorship, following the blistering reviews that greeted his Richard Avedon show, that rumors of the board’s fury started flying. Ross’ days, it seemed, were numbered.

Wrong. After seven years on the job, Ross is now moving on under his own steam. In July he becomes director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Whitney and SF MoMA are similar in many ways. Each has an operating budget of $16 million to $17 million, and endowments

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