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Kieran Long appointed new Museum Director of Amos Rex

Smiling man in front of domes with round windows.

Cata Portin / Amos Rex

Kieran Long has been appointed Museum Director of Amos Rex. He is relocating from Stockholm, where he has served as the director at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design.

Text: Anna Rusi

As the retirement of Museum Director Kai Kartio approached, the board of Amos Rex conducted an international search for his successor. Opened in 2018 and renowned for its surprising exhibitions and striking architecture, the art museum will be led by Kieran Long from next February. Kartio, who has successfully guided Amos Rex from concept to its fifth year, will continue to contribute to Amos Rex in a Senior Advisor capacity.

The Chairman of the board of Amos Rex, and CEO of Konstsamfundet Stefan Björkman explains the focus of the search: "We wanted to bring something new to the Helsinki art scene, and that's why we decided to look for candidates also from outside of Finland. Kieran Long was the one who best fit our criteria. We aim to continue the success of Amos Rex beyond its incredible first five years. Kieran possesses solid expertise in the field of art, and he has exciting ideas about how we can better use the unique location of Amos Rex and the entire Lasipalatsi (Glass Palace) Quarter in the heart of Helsinki."

Long is the first international museum director in Finland. British-born Long is moving from Sweden, where he held the role of Director at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. Previously, Long has led the Design, Architecture, and Digital Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and led the curatorial team for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. He has also had a long career as a teacher, broadcaster, writer, and commentator.

Long recognizes the substantial potential that is inherent in Amos Rex, emphasizing its importance: "Amos Rex is one of the most successful and exciting new contemporary art institutions in Europe, and it is a great honour to be chosen to continue the outstanding work Kai and the team have done since 2018. It is exciting to have this opportunity to activate a public space in the heart of Helsinki at a time when the city is growing and changing. Throughout my career, I have focused on museums as public spaces, and Amos Rex, in the centre of Helsinki, has such potential to be one of Helsinki’s most important. I want people to experience Amos Rex as an extraordinary, collective experience of art, even if they might not even buy a museum ticket."

Amos Rex is located in an architecturally significant setting, adjacent to Lasipalatsi, designed by Viljo Revell, Heimo Riihimäki and Niilo Kokko in 1936. The museum extension of the landmark building was designed by JKMM Architects in 2018.