Thomas Krens was born December 26, 1946,the former director of the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Foundation in New York City, and currently the Guggenheim’s Senior Advisor for International Affairs, overseeing the completion of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.From the beginning of his work at the Guggenheim, Krens promised, and delivered, great change, and was frequently in the spotlight, often as a figure of controversy. During his 20-year tenure from 1988 to 2008 as director he expanded the Guggenheim globally by enlarging and raising the profile of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, and then building the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (1997), Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany (1997), the Guggenheim Las Vegas (2001, closed 2003) and Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, also in Las Vegas, (2001, closed May 2008), Guggenheim Guadalajara, Mexico (cancelled in 2009, originally to open 2011), and the Abu Dhabi expansion (due to open 2012).
Krens spearheaded spectacular exhibitions such as The Art of the Motorcycle and ambitious shows covering the art of entire countries, including China and Brazil. As director, Krens increased the Guggenheim’s endowment from US$ 20 million to US$ 118 million.2Through its expanding network of constellations of art-viewing space, each component shines with its unique radiance, thus reflecting Guggenheim’s commitment to global public utilities while emphasizing the combination of education, art and architecture . Overall, these spaces allow the Foundation to realize the art of collecting the highest quality possible and face the tasks and goals of the broadest audience of the art scene. Guggenheim’s commitment to international projects reflects its history, its tradition, its breadth of collections and its contribution to a culture of excellence.However, Some critics say Krens’s permission to join the Guggenheim Museum can damage the brand. Even some people claim that some of the other international branches are fake museums. The Guggenheim Museum is getting further and further away from the arts.
Critics say the museum is not a chain and can never sell its franchise and branded it. They harshly criticized on motorcycle exhibition curated by krens and think they have sold everything and Guggenheim has become too commercialized. Krens was succeeded as director of the Guggenheim Foundation by Richard Armstrong, formerly the chief curator and director of the Carnegie Museum of Art and a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.