Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dede Wilsey steps down....maybe

Courtesy NY Times
While Ms. Wilsey has done a lot for the museums, she has also demanded a lot back - venturing from the role of Chairwoman of the Board to autocratic ruler. It looks like she is stepping down from that position but the reluctance of any to comment shows how much power she still holds.


The last few years have been tumultous ones at the FAMSF with the unexpected firing of respected curator Lynn Orr and a number of financial scandals along with Ms Wilsey's giving several of the de Young's prime ground floor galleries to show her son's mediocre photography collection.

Lynn Orr: Since January, each morning visitors to the venerable Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco line up to catch the newest star attraction, Vermeer’s enigmatic painting “Girl With the Pearl Earring,” on the first stop in its American tour.

The article on the firing of Ms Orr during the successful run of Dutch masterpieces at the de Young. "Yet Lynn Orr, the curator who helped arrange this exhibition coup, is not on hand to see its success. In November she was abruptly fired after 29 years, a departure that is one in a series of unsettling developments that have turned what are among the most popular museums west of the Mississippi into objects of contention and anxiety." In 2012, the Legion of Honor's "let go" curator Lynn Orr in an unceremonious and unexplained fashion. . The museum has been leaderless since since its late director, John Buchanan, died at the end of 2011 and plagued with more than its share of problems.
Orr, a brilliant and widely respected curator of European art, hasn't been at work since Nov. 20, and although no one is saying why, colleagues fear she's been given the ax.

"When contacted, Orr declined to comment. A museum board meeting, scheduled for December, has been postponed until March 2013."




Trevor Trania and his photography collection showcased at the de Young: From my blog in the 2012 wrap up of “the good, the bad and the ugly.” http://cheznamastenancy.blogspot.com/2012_12_01_archive.html

"The ugly was the most blatant example of nepotism ever seen in San Francisco's checkered art history. In fact, it was so blatant that every art writer in the Bay Area commented on it."

"Several of the de Young's prime, first floor galleries hosted a mediocre exhibit of photographs, belonging to Trevor Traina, a member of high society, collector wanna-be and FAMSF board trustee. He is the son of the president of the board, Dede Wilsey. Enough said."

Report on that from Sura Wood: http://www.ebar.com/arts/art_article.php?sec=general&article=196

From my blog in 2013: http://cheznamastenancy.blogspot.com/2013/03/bay-guardian-has-goods-on-dede-wilsey.html

More on the back ground of her controversial payment to an “ailing staffer.” http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/S-F-Fine-Arts-Museums-chief-Dede-Wilsey-accused-6575346.php

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