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Rochelle Steiner appointed dean of USC Roski School of Fine Arts

April 30, 2010 |  8:01 am

Steiner Rochelle Steiner, a museum and gallery curator who served as the director of the Public Art Fund in New York, will assume the role of dean at USC's Roski School of Fine Arts starting Aug. 1.

USC said Friday that Steiner will replace Ruth Weisberg, who has served as dean of the school since 1995.

A spokeswoman at the university said that Weisberg has decided to step down to devote more time to her career as a visual artist but will continue to teach at the school.

A curator with international experience, Steiner was the director of the Public Art Fund from 2006 to 2009, during which time she oversaw the commissioning of various public art projects. The most famous project during her tenure was Olafur Eliasson's "The New York City Waterfalls," a series of large-scale outdoor water installations that opened in 2008.

Steiner served as chief curator at the Serpentine Gallery in London from 2001 to 2006, and was associate curator of contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum from 1996 to 2001. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Rochester, earning a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies and a master’s degree in Comparative Arts.

In an e-mail interview, Steiner said that one of her key goals in her new job is to work with the faculty to "fortify the undergraduate curriculum beyond its current strengths, and to continue to grow the Roski School’s respected graduate programs."

She  said that another goal is to collaborate as widely as possible, both with the other schools and disciplines at USC, and within the artistic community in L.A., nationally and internationally. 

Steiner said she started talking with the university about the position in December 2009. Since then, she said she has had a number of interviews and discussions with the university's administration, faculty, staff, student body and donors. 

-- David Ng

Photo: Rochelle Steiner. Credit: USC