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Thoroughly Modern Kathy?

If Lowry goes to the Met…

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In the art-world betting for who will replace Philippe de Montebello at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, British Museum chief Neil MacGregor is seen as the leading candidate, with MoMA chief Glenn D. Lowry a close second. But that leads to an equally intriguing question: Who will take over at the Modern if Lowry gets the uptown gig? With Kathy Halbreich set to start next month as the MoMA’s associate director, a new position, there’s speculation that Lowry could be laying the groundwork for his departure. Halbreich, a contemporary-art expert, last fall left a sixteen-year stint at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where she oversaw a huge expansion and an art-market-savvy program. Speculation says she’d battle with Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate in London, for the top job on 53rd Street if it became available. And then there’s the Modern’s design impresario, Paola Antonelli, who presumably wouldn’t be happy to see a newcomer bumped above her. But she got her own promotion, to senior curator, right before the holidays.

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