The Kimbell Art Museum, Texas, has announced Eric McCauley Lee, former director of the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, as its new director. Lee takes over from previous director, Timothy Potts, who resigned in 2007 to take up the post of director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
The board of the Kimbell Art Foundation formally announced the unanimous decision today, following 18 months of interviewing candidates from around the world. Eric Lee is reported as saying, 'The Kimbell has always been a dream job of mine. I am absolutely elated,' adding that his new job is: 'protecting the Kimbell's legacy, its great architecture and collections. So much has been done right with the Kimbell. It's one of the leading art museums in the world only 36 years after it opened.'
Kay Fortson, president of the Kimbell Art Foundation, cited rising attendance figures and the seven major exhibitions at the Taft Museum during Lee's tenure as among the reasons for his appointment.
Earlier in his career, Eric Lee worked as director of the University of Oklahoma's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art for almost a decade. During this role, Lee oversaw the acquisition of the Weitzenhoffer Bequest, considered the largest and most significant collection of French impressionism given to an American public university.
The new director will oversee the expansion plans at Fort Worth, where an extensions designed by Renzo Piano will be added to the existing building by designed by Louis Kahn.
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