After five years spent serving as the director of the Helsinki Art Museum, 42-year-old Janne Sirén has been tapped to become the new director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Buffalo News reports. The appointment, which was announced yesterday, follows the departure this month of former director Louis Grachos, who served for ten years before taking a job in Austin, Texas.
Sirén will begin his tenure in the late-spring or early-summer after being unanimously approved by the Albright-Knox’s board of directors in a vote on Sunday night, the News reports. “Janne is an extraordinary leader, and he shares our vision for the active role of the Albright-Knox in the growth and vitality of our community,” Albright-Knox board president Leslie Zemsky said in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience in promoting economic development and growth through cultural tourism, which is such a high priority for us here at the Gallery and in the Buffalo Niagara region.”
“These opportunities are so rare, and institutions as brilliant and as fantastic as the Albright-Knox, which has been able to reinvent itself time and again over the past 150 years, they are so rare,” Sirén told the News. “In terms of the Albright-Knox, I didn’t have to think long.”
In addition to his role as director of the Helsinki Art Museum, Sirén has served as a core member of the Finnish city’s cultural administration, and was a point person in the failed bid to create a local branch of the Guggenheim.
“From the moment I set foot in Buffalo, it was sort of love at first sight,” Sirén told the News. “I just felt that in Buffalo there’s this very positive aura about the next chapter in the city’s future, not only at the Albright-Knox, but more generally in Buffalo. Things are sort of happening, and you see in little bits and pieces around there, it’s sort of in the air. And that’s tremendously exciting.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image via the Albright-Knox Art Gallery/Facebook.)