Amos Rex, a standout contemporary art museum in Helsinki, has appointed Kieran Long as its new Museum Director. Long, a distinguished figure in the art world, will be transitioning from his current role as the director of ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, to his new position in early February 2024. He succeeds Kai Kartio, who has been instrumental in shaping Amos Rex since its inception and will now serve as a Senior Advisor.
Since its launch in 2018, Amos Rex has been a dynamic force in Helsinki’s cultural landscape, attracting over half a million visitors in its first year alone. The museum has hosted a range of groundbreaking exhibitions, including works by teamLab, Studio Drift, Bill Viola, and Hans Op de Beeck, and has been a platform for young artists through its Generation exhibitions.
The search for a new director was a global endeavor led by Stefan Björkman, CEO of Konstsamfundet, the owner of Amos Rex, and Chairman of its board. The board’s decision to appoint Long marks a significant step in the museum's journey, looking to build on its early successes and enhance its role in Helsinki’s art scene. Long’s international background and his experience in leading major cultural institutions made him a standout choice for this role.
Kieran Long, the first international museum director in Finland, brings a wealth of experience from his tenure at ArkDes and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. His career spans various roles, including curator, teacher, broadcaster, writer, and commentator. Long’s appointment reflects Amos Rex's commitment to pushing boundaries and redefining the museum experience.
Gunvor Kronman from Konstsamfundet highlighted Long’s potential to infuse new perspectives into the Finnish art scene, given his British and Swedish heritage and diverse cultural background. Elisabeth Millqvist, Vice-chair of Amos Rex’s board and Director of Moderna Museet Malmö, echoed this sentiment, noting that Long's outlook aligns with the museum's experimental and boundary-pushing ethos.
Expressing his enthusiasm for the role, Kieran Long emphasized his vision for Amos Rex as a vibrant public space and a cornerstone of Helsinki’s cultural life. He aims to make the museum an engaging and collective experience of art, accessible and relevant to all. His approach is expected to resonate well with the city’s evolving dynamics and contribute significantly to its artistic vibrancy.