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Mayor Bloomberg to Chair London’s Serpentine Gallery

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg, New York City Mayor, will be the next chairman of the Serpentine Gallery, a London arts institution, taking the post after his mayoral term ends. Photographer: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the next chairman of the Serpentine Gallery, a London arts institution, taking the post after his mayoral term ends.

The mayor’s press secretary Marc LaVorgna and the Serpentine Gallery confirmed the appointment. It was announced at a Sept. 24 dinner to mark the opening of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, the Serpentine’s new extension, LaVorgna said. Mayor Bloomberg, whose 12-year tenure ends Dec. 31, is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News’s parent Bloomberg LP.

Housed in a former Hyde Park tearoom built in 1934, the Serpentine -- led by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist - - is one of London’s better-known art galleries.

It commissions a temporary pavilion each summer from a prominent international architect and hosts a fund-raising event. The gallery’s parties gained royal cachet when Princess Diana attended in June 1994.

The gallery gets limited government funding -- its 2013-2014 grant from Arts Council England totals 1.21 million pounds ($1.94 million) -- and relies on donors and sponsors. Entrance to the gallery is free.

Peter Palumbo, a property developer who is a member of the House of Lords, has been chairman of the gallery since 1994. Palumbo has also chaired the jury of the Pritzker Architecture Prize since 2005. As at other London museums, the chairman oversees the gallery’s operations and leads its fundraising efforts.

This weekend, the Serpentine opens its new extension, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by architect Zaha Hadid. The Serpentine Sackler has received funding from Bloomberg, which sponsored its opening exhibition.

Bloomberg previously served on the board of the Serpentine Gallery.

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on restaurants and Frederik Balfour on the Asian art market.

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