The executive director of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Dennis Kois, has announced plans to leave his position to accept the role of president and chief executive of the Milwaukee Public Museum. Kois expressed that he was leaving for family reasons — he and his wife are both Wisconsin natives with family still living in the state.
Since joining the deCordova in 2008, Kois has added over 200 works to the museum’s collection, including pieces by Andy Goldsworthy and Ursula von Rydingsvard, and has quadrupled the museum’s fundraising. Following the announcement of Kois’s departure, trustee Deborah A. Hawkins donated $1 million to the deCordova to fund curatorial initiatives in his absence.
Kois is widely credited with reviving the deCordova. “Dennis took the helm at deCordova after a very challenging period for the museum,” said deCordova board chair Gerry Frank. “[He] has done incredible work in turning the institution in a new direction and injecting new energy, focusing on curatorial excellence, growing fundraising, and building community support.”
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Kois said “we’ve got a great program, and things are firing on all cylinders. And I would love to be the one to see through all the things I’ve set in motion, but I have every confidence those things are going to continue in place.”
— Christopher Kareska
(Photo: still of deCordova Director Dennis Kois in a promotional video for Party for the Park 2013)