Jens Hoffmann investigation

Issue no1
Feb - March 2020


New York’s Jewish Museum has suspended all current projects with curator Jens Hoffmann while it investigates allegations of sexual harassment raised by members of staff at the end of last week. In a statement sent to frieze, the museum said: ‘A number of Jewish Museum staff members came forward on 30 November 2017, with allegations of sexual harassment by Jens Hoffmann during his tenure at the Museum. In light of this information, we have suspended all current projects with him while we review the allegations’. Hoffmann has been director of special exhibitions and public programmes at the museum – he joined in 2012 and served as deputy director until 2016. News of his suspension followed on from his recent and abrupt departure as co-artistic director of the Cleveland triennial Front International. Hoffmann said that the departure was due to differences over artistic direction – Fred Bidwell, CEO of the triennial, told Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer: 'we’ve made a change in the artistic leadership of Front'. Meanwhile, the Honolulu Biennial which Hoffmann was due to curate for its 2019 edition has terminated its relationship with him. Hoffmann’s lawyer insists that his client has not subjected any staff at the Jewish Museum to sexual harassment. The allegations follow on from a renewed conversation around harassment and power in the art world, sparked by the resignation of Artforum’s longtime co-publisher Knight Landesman after claims of sexual misconduct this October – the celebrated conductor James Levine was suspended by the Met Opera after abuse allegations just this weekend. Read Elvia Wilk on what it will take for the art world to uncouple power from abuse.

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Metropolis M Magazine for contemporary art No 1 — 2020