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Heckscher Museum of Art cuts chief curator's job

The Heckscher Museum of Art has eliminated its chief curator's job. Citing "tough times for museums," Heckscher's interim executive director, Judith Jedlicka, a business consultant hired by the museum board in October, said Tuesday that the decision was "part of an overall restructuring plan. . . . It's fiscally responsible. We will move ahead in the public interest."

Kenneth Wayne, who has a doctorate in art history from Stanford University, has headed the curatorial staff at Heckscher for five years, during which time he curated or selected 20 major exhibitions for the museum. Assistant curator Lisa Chalif remains as the senior curatorial staff member.

Artists, museum staff and Huntington community leaders gathered for a show of support for Wayne at a board meeting Monday night. "The last five years have been the museum's best," said Dylan Skolnick of the nearby Cinema Arts Centre. "You can't have a museum without a curator." Others asked why the board couldn't eliminate an administrative position instead.

Jedlicka said Tuesday that all exhibitions now scheduled would go on as planned.

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