Julián Zugazagoitia brought his passion for the arts to Kansas City in September 2010 as the fifth Director & CEO of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He is known for his high-energy leadership, his art connoisseurship and community spirit. Under his guidance, the Nelson-Atkins has pursued many successful collaborations with other non-profits, corporations and fellow art museums.
Born in Mexico and educated at the Sorbonne Paris IV in France, Julián speaks six languages and has worked in the Americas, Europe and Africa. He served as the Director/CEO of El Museo del Barrio in New York, a leading institution in the field of Latin American and Latino art and led the institution through a $44 million renovation project that resulted in new gallery spaces and a popular restaurant. Before leading El Museo, Julián worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York as Executive Assistant to the Director, and he also worked as a consultant and curator with UNESCO and the Getty Conservation Institute. He curated exhibitions for the international art fair ARCO 2005, the 25th
Sao Paulo Biennale in Brazil in 2002 and as Director of Visual Arts with the Spoleto Festival in Italy.Zugazagoitia was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres Medal by the French Ministry of Culture in 2003.