Richard Lacayo was the first to flag Terry Riley’s departure from the Miami Museum of Art speculating that Miami’s new building might require a new director with more fundraising skills than architectural vision. Sarah Douglas follows that up with an interview with Riley that somewhat confirms the supposition that Riley’s mission was to see the museum through the design process. Curiously, he seems to have filled a similar role at MoMA. His position at curator coincided with the museum’s massive expansion.
In the last couple of weeks, I thought, I could either leave now or it will be another four years. This is the perfect moment to leave. The design is on target, and we have a good team in place in terms of the project managers.
[W]hat I’ve learned at MAM and MoMA is that architects can be really helpful to a museum in many different ways. I think my ability to think through architectural problems benefited those museums, and I don’t for a moment regret [taking those jobs]. It’s something only an architect can do for a museum. […]
My background is in architecture and design. With my departure, there is an opportunity in terms of building the rest of the collection, by hiring staff — a director possibly — who’s capable of building a collection with same the conviction with which I have built the building project.
Terry Riley on Resigning from the Miami Art Museum (ArtInfo.com)