Caroline Baumann Named Acting Director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Release Date: 
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Caroline Baumann Named Acting Director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Caroline Baumann has been named acting director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, effective July 13. Since joining Cooper-Hewitt in 2001, Baumann has served as director of development, director of external affairs and deputy director.

As director of external affairs from 2003 to 2006, Baumann oversaw development, membership, special events, operations, finance and retail. In 2006, Baumann was appointed deputy director, focusing on the museum’s Re:Design capital campaign, the most ambitious in the museum’s history, which will result in a dramatic reconfiguration of Cooper-Hewitt, a major increase in the museum’s endowment and secure support for the museum’s many programs. In her role as deputy director, she also supervised development, membership, special events and retail.

From 1995 to 2001, Baumann worked at The Museum of Modern Art, where she raised funds for the museum’s Yoshio Taniguchi building project among other accomplishments. Before that, she served as director of development at the Calhoun School in Manhattan. Prior to that, she worked at The Museum of Modern Art within the International Council program. She received a master’s degree in medieval art from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and a bachelor’s degree in the history of art and French literature from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Baumann will serve as acting director of the museum while a 10-member committee, under the direction of the Smithsonian’s Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, searches for a permanent director. Paul Warwick Thompson, who served as director for eight years, resigned to accept the position of rector of the Royal College of Art in London.