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It’s Colin Bailey! Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Pick a Scholar “Who is Fun” UPDATED (with video)


Diane “Dede” Wilsey, president of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, announcing appointment of Colin Bailey as director, effective June 1

“It’s a dream come true….I’ve long wanted to be a director of a museum!” exulted the absent Colin Bailey in a video (at the bottom of this post) prepared by search firm m/Oppenheim for the rollout of his directorship today at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Colin Bailey as he appeared in video shown at announcement of his directorship

Colin Bailey, as he appeared in video shown at today’s announcement of his directorship

Museum president Diane “Dede” Wilsey described Bailey, currently deputy director and curator at the Frick Collection, New York, as “a leader known internationally as a scholar” and “also somebody who is fun!”

Here’s what the Frick’s director, Ian Wardropper, said about Bailey, in a statement e-mailed to me the moment the appointment was announced:

Colin B. Bailey is a remarkable colleague and we’re thrilled for him as he prepares to move into the role of Director for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  To reflect upon the range of his achievements over the past 12 years at the Frick Collection is a rewarding and lengthy task, reflective of his strong qualities as a Chief Curator and his depth of experience as Deputy Director.

On this end, we are still processing the news, and will have information at a later date regarding a search for his successor.  In the meantime, our best wishes are with Colin and our colleagues in San Francisco.

Wilsey revealed that the Frick’s board was formally informed of the appointment only yesterday. But I assume they all got a heads-up more than a week ago from this CultureGrrl scoop, announcing his imminent ascension.

I had an excruciating moment of self-doubt when Wilsey declared that the secret of the chosen director’s identity had been “kept…until today.” (Thanks, reliable anonymous sources!)

Bailey will assume his post on June 1.

UPDATE: Here’s the press release announcing the appointment. I like that it quotes Douglas Druick, president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago, another long-time curator who made good. And below is the video of the announcement (including the film that was shown of Bailey), which was livestreamed today by FAMSF:

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