Dezeen Magazine

Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann resigns

Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann resigns

Caroline Baumann has stepped down from her position as director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the New York Times has reported.

Baumann's resignation was confirmed by museum spokeswoman, according to The New York Times, which broke the news on 7 February.

Dezeen contacted the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, which confirmed the news in a statement.

"Baumann has been a passionate voice for design, and much has been accomplished during her tenure," it added.

John Davis, who is the Smithsonian's provost/under secretary for museums, education and research, will temporarily take over her position, while the New York museum searches for a replacement.

Baumann served as director since 2013

Baumann was named director in 2013 succeeding industrial designer Bill Moggridge, who had served as the museum's director for two years until his death in September 2012.

Prior to taking on the position she had served as associate director, acting director and deputy director at the museum, and worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1995 to 2001.

During Baumann's time at the museum, she was responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and managing the renovation of the Carnegie Mansion – Cooper Hewitt's home in Manhattan's Upper East Side – and the reinstallation of its galleries.

Cooper Hewitt considered most significant design museum in the US

Completed in 2014, the project included a renovation led New York's Gluckman Mayner Architects and architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle, new fittings by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and a rebranding by Pentagram.

Her other projects include overseeing the museum's sixth design triennial, called Nature. She said the showcase would show "how designers can save the planet", in an interview with Dezeen.

The Cooper Hewitt, which is considered the most significant design museum in the US, is a part of The Smithsonian Institution, comprising museums, research centres and the National Zoo.

The National African American history museum in Washington DC – which was designed by Adjaye Associates in partnership with US firms Davis Brody Bond – The Freelon Group and SmithGroupJJR are also among the group.