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PRINT March 2004

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James Cuno

SOME GUYS HAVE all the luck. Or if not luck exactly, then a sense of moment about them, so that all eyes turn in their direction when opportunity comes. This is certainly the case with James Cuno, 52, who was appointed in January as the new director of the Art Institute of Chicago, replacing James N. Wood after twenty-four years on the job.

Cuno’s moment has come often enough lately that he managed to use the same quote twice about himself in little more than eighteen months. In response to a reporter’s question in June 2002 as to why he was leaving his eleven-year directorship of the Harvard University Art Museums (comprising the Fogg, the Sackler, and the Busch-Reisinger) to take on London’s Courtauld Institute of Art, he told The Guardian: “This was by no means an easy decision but the directorship of the Courtauld was an opportunity I could not pass up.” Just a year and a half later he

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