During his fifty year tenure with NOMA, Fagaly has organized over 90 art exhibitions.
NEW ORLEANS, LA.- William A. Fagaly, Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art, is retiring from the New Orleans Museum of Art after 50 years of service.
“Since joining NOMA in 1966, then the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, Bill has been recognized as an internationally renowned curator and scholar,” said Susan M. Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director at NOMA. “As NOMA’s first curator of African art, Bill’s extraordinary work to expand the institution and build the African art collection over the past 50 years will always remain a legacy of his work as a critical partner in NOMA’s evolution as a museum with a world-class collection of African art. His legacy extends to the self-taught arena as well where groundbreaking exhibitions helped to establish a fuller perspective on that under appreciated field. It is fitting that Bill’s last two exhibitions at NOMA, Kongo across the Waters and Pierre Joseph Landry: Patriot, Planter Sculptor, highlighted both his African and self-taught expertise respectively”.
“It has been gratifying to have witnessed the growth of a small, local art museum to become one of America’s leading art institutions.” said Fagaly. “I am pleased that I had a part in building a great African art collection for a city I love and whose majority population is African-American.”
A graduate from Indiana University in Bloomington, Fagaly served as assistant registrar for the
During his fifty year tenure with NOMA, Fagaly has organized over 90 art exhibitions.
The list of exhibitions with accompanying catalogs is diverse, including the widely respected series, the New Orleans Triennial (1967-2001), Moon Rock and Earthworks (1970), Treasures of Peter Carl Fabergé and other Master Jewelers from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection (1972), David Butler: Louisiana Folk Sculptor (1976), Five from Louisiana (1977), Shapes of Power, Belief and Celebration: African Art from New Orleans Collections (1989), Roots of American Jazz: African Musical Instruments from New Orleans Collections (1995) “He’s the Prettiest:” A Tribute to Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana’s Fifty Years of Mardi Gras Indian Suiting (1997), Ancestors of Congo Square: African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art (2011) and Pierre Joseph Landry: Patriot, Planter, Sculptor (2015).
Serving as guest curator, Fagaly has been invited by other institutions, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, the Museum of American Folk Art (MAFA) in New York City, University of Wyoming Art Museum in Laramie, the Portland Museum of Art in Oregon and the Springfield Art Museum (SAM) in Missouri, to produce a variety of exhibitions including the Corcoran’s 41st Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting in 1989, Louisiana Folk Paintings (MAFA) in 1973 and Watercolor U. S. A. 1999 (SAM). In 2004, Fagaly served as the guest curator of Tools of Her Ministry: The Art of Sister Gertrude Morgan, a major retrospective of the Louisiana African-American self-taught artist, at the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Rizzoli published the accompanying monograph for the exhibition. After its premiere in New York, the exhibition traveled to New Orleans and Chicago. In 2005, Fagaly co-curated an exhibition of African art, Resonance from the Past: African Sculpture from the New Orleans Museum of Art, at the Museum for African Art in New York. This exhibition traveled to eight American art museums, including the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
An accomplished writer, Fagaly has published over 100 articles and essays in exhibition catalogs and in numerous publications including African Arts, Artforum, Art in America, Arts d’Afrique Noire, Arts Tribal, Pelican Bomb, Contemporary Arts/Southeast, The Encyclopedia of American Folk Art, Folk Art, Folk Art Messenger, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Museum News, Ricochet, and NOMA’s Arts Quarterly. He was also an instrumental part in the establishment of the curatorial code of ethics for the American Association of Museums in 1976.
Fagaly has earned several awards and accolades during his tenure at NOMA. He was a recipient of a Fellowship for Museum Professionals from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1985. With this fellowship he traveled extensively for two months in West Africa visiting six countries studying traditional tribal art. In 1997, Fagaly received both the City of New Orleans Mayor’s Arts Award and the Louisiana Governor’s Arts Award of Outstanding Arts Patron. He also received the 1998 Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award for the Civil Service League and the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Fellows’ Isaac Delgado Memorial Award in 2001 for distinguished service to NOMA. He was decorated in 2006 by the French government with the Chevalier de l’Orde des Arts et des Lettres.
Fagaly is the founder of both the Friends of Contemporary Art and the Friends of Ethnographic Art at NOMA. He was a co-founder of the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans in 1976. In 1984, he served as Special Museum Consultant to both the Liberian and Vatican Pavilions for the Louisiana World Exposition.
He has also served on selection panels and as a grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States General Services Administration, the State Arts Councils of Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Wyoming, and the Southern Federation for Arts. He is the founding board member of United States Biennial, Inc. which produced Prospect.1, the first United States International Art Biennial in 2008 in New Orleans.
He continues to serve on that board which will produce Prospect.4 in the fall of 2017. Fagaly is also a board member of The Newcomb Art Museum and A Studio in the Woods both at Tulane University which he’ll continue to serve after his retirement.
2. DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art today announced that Dr. Agustín Arteaga has been appointed as its Eugene McDermott Director. Arteaga currently serves as the director of the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s largest and most prominent cultural institutions, presenting work from the mid-16th through the mid-20th centuries. Prior to his tenure at MUNAL, Arteaga was the director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) in Puerto Rico, and the founding director of the contemporary art museum Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) Fundación Costantini in Argentina. Arteaga will assume his new role at the DMA on September 1, 2016.
“Agustín is a forward-thinking and strategic director with an excellent track record of leading museums on a global level and attracting new audiences and support through innovative, collection-based programs,” said Catherine Marcus Rose, President of the Board of Trustees. “He brings an international perspective to the DMA, having spearheaded partnerships with major institutions around the world throughout his 30-year career. His managerial acumen, curatorial expertise, and
As Director and Chief Executive Officer at MUNAL since 2013, Arteaga has enhanced its exhibition program through key international partnerships, dramatically grown its annual attendance, established new streams of institutional support, and expanded the museum’s collection of over 7,000 works with more than 35 strategic gifts and acquisitions—including major works by Diego Rivera, Francisco Zúñiga, Gabriel Orozco, and Abraham Cruzvillegas. Arteaga led the museum through a five-year strategic planning process that focused on developing new audiences, implementing new technologies, and ensuring financial stability for the institution. Under his leadership, MUNAL has established individual and corporate sponsorships, which are unprecedented in Mexico. MUNAL also saw an increase in attendance of 30 percent during his tenure through the presentation of increasingly innovative exhibitions and programs that highlighted the museum’s outstanding collections in new ways.
Arteaga has organized more than 100 exhibitions over the course of his career, including major monographic presentations of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Diego Rivera; survey exhibitions of French Impressionism and Old Master works; and thematic exhibitions that have stretched across centuries and cultures. At MUNAL, he oversaw the development of a five-year exhibition program, including the organization of an ambitious series of major international exhibitions, among them: Landscapes of the Mind: British Landscapes from the Tate Collection (2015); The Male Nude: Dimensions of Masculinity from 19th Century and Beyond (2014); and Yo, el Rey: La Monarquía Hispánica en el arte (2015), which involved over 200 loans from 40 institutions, including the Prado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Royal House in Spain, and which set recent attendance records for MUNAL. He also was instrumental in helping MUNAL forge partnerships with international peers such as the Grand Palais, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée d’Orsay, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, the Tate, and the Whitney Museum of Art, in support of its exhibition program.
Prior to his role at MUNAL, Arteaga served for nine years as the Executive Director and CEO of Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) in Puerto Rico, which is noted for its extraordinary collection of nearly 4,600 Old Masterworks spanning the 14th century to the late 19th century. Arteaga spearheaded the museum’s transformation into a globally significant institution—leading the construction of a new 45,000-square-foot building and the renovation of MAP’s original 1964 Edward Durrell Stone building into a modern, state-of-the-art facility in 2010. During his tenure he secured major donations of works of art, among them Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke in Flight, a 29-foot-high sculpture from The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.
From 2000 through 2002, Arteaga was the Founding Director of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) Fundación Costantini in Argentina, which today is an internationally recognized contemporary art museum focused on Latin American and contemporary art in the Americas. At MALBA, he set the institution’s mission and vision; oversaw the design and construction of the museum’s $30-million building; and organized and curated its inaugural exhibition Encounters: Art in Latin America, as well as major traveling exhibitions on Guillermo Kuitca and Lasar Segall, presented at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, and Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, respectively.
He additionally served for five years as Director and Chief Curator of Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (MPBA) in Mexico City from 1994 through 1999, where he increased annual attendance from 240,000 visitors to more than one million. From 1994 to 1998, he concurrently served as the National Director of Visual Arts at Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), where he supervised a network of over 20 museums across Mexico, providing strategic leadership and professional development.
“We were fortunate to have found in Agustín a leader who exceeded our expectations in terms of the lasting impact he has made on the many institutions he has served,” said Jeremy Halbreich, Chair of the Director Search Committee. “We look forward to welcoming him to Dallas and to working together to make the DMA an even more inclusive and dynamic cultural space.” Added Melissa Foster Fetter, Chairman of the DMA’s Board of Trustees, “We would like to extend our gratitude to our Interim Director Walter Elcock for his steadfast guidance of the Museum and for working tirelessly with our senior staff and board during this period of transition as we searched for our next director.” Elcock, who had previously served as the DMA’s President of the Board, was appointed as Interim Director in September 2015 and will rejoin the Board of Trustees in September 2016.
In addition to his directorships in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Argentina, Arteaga was a guest curator for two years at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, one of France’s most renowned contemporary art institutions in Paris. From 1991 to 1994, he served as Deputy Director and Curator of Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) in Mexico City.
Arteaga was decorated as a Chevalier in the French Republic’s Order of Arts and Letters in 1998, and he received the Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico in 2013, which is the highest honor bestowed to Mexican citizens for support of Mexican culture abroad. He attended The Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leadership Institute in 2007 and, as a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors (1999 – present), has spearheaded the admission of Mexican museums to the organization. Born in Mexico City, Arteaga received an M.A. (1999) and Ph.D. (2006) from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), and a B.S. in architecture (1980) from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, both in Mexico City, Mexico. He will be moving to Dallas in September with his husband Carlos Gonzalez-Jaime.
4. HONOLULU Bishop Museum in Honolulu Recovering from Scandal: Following a recent investigation into the misuse of institutional funds, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu is facing speculation that much of the museum's collection of cultural artifacts and historical specimens from the Pacific Basin and Oceania — the greatest such collection in the world — has disappeared. According to a report by The Art Newspaper, most of the museum's research staff has left, and access to the collection has been made nearly impossible. The Bishop's director and chief executive, Blair Collis, resigned in May after it came to light that he had been using a museum credit card for questionable purposes. [TAN]
5. HONOLULU The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Hawaii, which holds the world’s largest and
Founded in 1889 by a local businessman, Charles Bishop, in memory of his wife, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the private museum is a non-profit institution that relies primarily on earned revenue and contributions to sustain its programmes.
According to the museum’s latest publicly available audited financial statements, from 2014, it has long-term debt of more than $7.5m. (A spokesman for the museum says: “As a private institution, the museum does not discuss its financial details.”)
The museum’s former director and chief executive Blair Collis implemented a controversial restructuring plan to balance the museum’s books after he took over in 2011. But he stepped down in May after it emerged that there was questionable spending on his museum credit card. (Collins could not be reached for comment.) A search is on for his successor; the interim chief executive is LindaLee Kuuleilani Farm.
According to the Munich-based art dealer Daniel Blau, who has published books on Pacific culture, “access to the archives has been obstructed and in some cases even made impossible”, despite repeated requests. Most of the museum’s research staff has now gone, he says, after the museum converted them into contractors who were responsible for their own funding.
Meanwhile, some precious items in the collection have not been seen publicly for years, in particular a group of 83 native Hawaiian artefacts. The objects—including wooden statuettes, tools and carved bowls—were the subject of a complex custody battle after they were uncovered in caves in Kawaihae in the early 20th century. In 2000, the museum handed over the so-called “Forbes cave” artefacts to an association of native Hawaiians, who reburied them. But they were returned to the museum in 2006 as part of a settlement. According to local press reports, a number of Hawaiian organisations continue to maintain a claim to the objects.
Asked about lack of access to the collections, the museum spokesman says: “Bishop Museum’s collections consist of more than 25 million items, including over 22 million biological specimens and more than two million cultural artefacts, derived from a legacy of research spanning more than 125 years. While not all collection items are on display, the museum leverages in-house exhibits and other avenues to showcase different artefacts as relevant opportunities arise.” He denied that there was any plan “presently” to raise funds by selling some of the artefacts.