The good news is that the iconic Maxfield Parrish painting "The Pied Piper" will not be sold and is returning to the Palace Hotel after a professional cleaning in NY. I cannot imagine what the oweners were thinking. The chain that owns the Palace is obscenely rich; surely they didn't think they could remove an iconic piece of SF history without an outcry. Plus, it was in a bar and not exactly invisible.
Lee Rosenbaum announced the news in her blog on March 17th and named Colin Bailey, current director of the Frick as the candidate.
The museum has been drawing in record crowds and has the fourth-highest museum attendance in North America. But in a report last year, San Francisco budget analyst Harvey Rose raised critical questions about how the Fine Arts Museums, the M. H. de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are run. He said the public board did not sufficiently oversee the museums' finances or assets or discuss those finances in a "public or transparent manner," ceding that authority to the private nonprofit that operates the museums, the Corporation for the Fine Arts Museums.
The institution has been beset by bitter labor negotiations; the firing of longtime staffers, including the esteemed veteran curator of European art, Lynn Orr; and criticism of the board of trustees, particularly its powerful president, Dede Wilsey.
Bailey holds a D.Phil. in Art History from the University of Oxford. A specialist in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French art and has a long line of publications and honors to his credit. He hasn't made any comment but if he is "the one" good luck to him. I will be looking forward to positive changes during his tenure.
From the Mercury News:
A federal charge of stealing an object of cultural heritage from a museum has been filed against a parolee who is suspected of taking a Gold Rush-era jewelry box valued at $805,000 from the Oakland Museum of California on Jan. 9, authorities said Tuesday.
It is believed the state case against Franklin will soon be dropped so the federal prosecution can begin.
The thief sold the artifact for peanuts: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Oakland-museum-s-stolen-artifact-sold-cheap-4368780.php