[intro]The Appointment of Don Bacigalupi as Director is a Turning Point[/intro]
The New York Times announces the appointment of Toledo Museum director as Crystal Bridges, the Alice Walton-backed museum of American art being built and stocked in Arkansas. Bacigalupi says he wasn’t looking for a job when the opportunity came to him:
“It’s kind of this glorious startup and one that I think is going to be unique in our lifetime,” said Mr. Bacigalupi, 49, who during his tenure in Toledo oversaw construction of that museum’s Glass Pavilion, a highly acclaimed addition designed by the Japanese firm Sanaa that opened in 2006.
Crystal Bridges takes its name from its glass-and-wood building design by the architect Moshe Safdie that is expected to be completed in the next two years. The museum will focus on American art from the colonial period to the present. […]
Mr. Bacigalupi (pronounced BAH-chee-ga-loop-ee) said his decision to leave an established museum for a new and untested one was motivated partly by the seriousness of Ms. Walton’s intentions. “She is one of these enlightened patrons,” he said. “She’s an heiress who could obviously do anything she wanted with her resources.”
“This is a not a vanity project,” he added, “and it’s not just a personal collection that’s going to be opened to the public.” […] John Wilmerding, an art historian on the museum’s board, said he viewed the appointment of a respected museum executive like Mr. Bacigalupi “as a coming-of-age moment for Crystal Bridges.”
“It’s an opportunity for it to be perceived not as a curiosity in the hinterlands,” he said, “but as a major American art museum.”