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San Diego Museum of Art Names Derrick R. Cartwright as Executive Director  


The San Diego Museum of Art has named Derrick R. Cartwright, the current director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, as its new Maruja Baldwin Executive Director. He is the seventh director in the Museum's 78-year history, succeeding Don Bacigalupi who departed in October 2003. Cartwright will begin the new position in early September 2004.

"On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I would like to express a deep pride and satisfaction in the hiring of Derrick Cartwright, the result of an exhaustive search that took many months. Given his stellar credentials as an educator, scholar, and museum administrator, we have the utmost confidence in Mr. Cartwright's ability to carry the Museum forward on its current track of organizing significant art exhibitions, developing and presenting its collections, and making the fine arts accessible to an ever widening and diverse constituency of residents and visitors to the region," says the president of the Museum's Board of Trustees, Chuck Hellerich.

Since 2001, Cartwright has been instrumental in organizing several noteworthy exhibitions at the Hood Museum of Art, including the critically acclaimed Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, which travels to the J. Paul Getty Museum later this year. In addition to maintaining a busy exhibition schedule, Cartwright also oversaw an active acquisitions program for the Hood, a distinguished institution that stands as one of the oldest and largest college museums in the country, boasting an encyclopedic collection of more than 60,000 works of art and artifacts. (right: Derrick R. Cartwright. Photo courtesy of San Diego Museum of Art)

A former art history professor at the University of San Diego (1993-1998), Cartwright has retained close ties with the region's arts community while at the Hood through such recent projects as Lateral Thinking: Art of the 1990s, an exhibition Cartwright co-curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Under his direction, the Hood also organized and toured the important retrospective exhibition José Clemente Orozco in the United States, 1927-1934, which debuted at the San Diego Museum of Art in spring 2002. Cartwright has likewise worked closely with the Timken Museum of Art on the occasion of last summer's exhibition American Viewpoints: Paintings and Sculpture from the Hood Museum of Art.

Prior to his position at the Hood, Cartwright directed the Musée d'Art Américain Giverny in France (1998-2000) where he developed and curated a variety of exhibitions featuring prominent American artists who studied or lived in France. His first assignment as a museum director came during the six-year period that he taught at the University of San Diego at which time he also served as director of the institution's Founder's Gallery.

An active scholar with many essays, articles, and exhibition catalogues to his credit, Cartwright earned his Ph.D. in art history at the University of Michigan (1994), where he specialized in North American art and architecture as well as 19th-century French art and the history of photography. He received an M.A. in 1988 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied modern art, critical theory, and the art of India, and in 1984, he was awarded his bachelor's degree, with honors, from the department of art history at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pending Derrick Cartwright's arrival at SDMA in early September to assume his new duties, Heath Fox, the Museum's director of administration, will continue to serve as the acting executive director.

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