Apparently, the former head of the Kimbell, founding director of the Bellagio Gallery in Las Vegas, former director of SMU’s Meadows Museum — in short, one of the sharpest people in American art museums — died last night in Kaufman County of a heart attack. He was 66. Here’s the Star-Telegram‘s obit.
The Kimbell Museum has issued a statement:
The Board of Directors and staff of the Kimbell Art Museum are mourning the tragic loss of former museum director and dear friend, Dr. Ted Pillsbury.
Kay Fortson, Board president, Kimbell Art Foundation commented, “Ted was a brilliant director and a good friend. He will be greatly missed. “
“I was deeply saddened by the death of Ted Pillsbury,” said Eric Lee, current director of the Kimbell Art Museum. “Ted was one of the greatest museum directors of his generation, and his impact on the Kimbell Art Museum is immeasurable. As a connoisseur, Ted had an unerring eye and consistently made brilliant acquisitions. Many of the exhibitions he brought to the Kimbell in the 1980s and 1990s are remembered and discussed to this day. I have tremendous admiration for Ted’s achievements at the Kimbell and am honored and humbled to follow in his footsteps.”
A number of the Museum’s most famous works were acquired under Pillsbury’s leadership (1980–98), including works by Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, and Velázquez, as well as many others. He was an innovator of museum programming committed to organizing international loan exhibitions and public education.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.