San Diego Museum of Art

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA



San Diego Museum of Art Names Dr. Don Bacigalupi as Next Director


At an eventful regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 30, 1999 the San Diego Museum of Art's Board of Trustees selected Dr. Don Bacigalupi as the institution's next director. Following an extensive national search, Dr. Bacigalupi was one of two highly qualified candidates identified as finalists for the position by the museum's search committee. He currently serves as director and chief curator of the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston. Upon completion of contract negotiations and fulfillment of his professional responsibilities at the Blaffer, it is expected that Dr. Bacigalupi will assume directorship of the museum this summer

"Don Bacigalupi possesses wonderful qualifications, has expressed insight and imagination in his work, and has demonstrated a real vision for the role of the museum in modern society," said Katy Dessent, President of the museum's Board of Trustees. "It was a difficult decision between two finalists who are both rising stars in the field, and we are now anxious to move forward, complete the process and bring Don to San Diego. This is an exciting time for the museum and the community we serve."

"I'm delighted at the prospect of working in such spectacular environs as San Diego, Balboa Park and the Museum of Art," said Bacigalupi. "I look forward to working with the wonderful board, staff, volunteers and the citizens of San Diego to guide the extraordinary and bright future of their museum." Dr. Bacigalupi received his Ph.D in art history from the University of Texas, Austin. With expertise in contemporary art, he has served in administrative and curatorial positions at the Bayer Fine Arts Gallery in Massachusetts and the Gallery Henoch in New York. He has also held the position of Chief Curator and Advisor for The Whatley Collection in Austin, Texas, a privately funded collection of contemporary art, and has served as a lecturer and adjunct professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston, Texas. Prior to accepting his present position in 1995 as Director and Chief Curator at the Blaffer Gallery, Bacigalupi was Brown Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art. In this capacity, he was responsible for exhibitions of twentieth century art, including: American Photography: A History of Pictures; Synesthesia: Sound and Vision in Contemporary Art; The State of the State: Contemporary Art in Texas; and Continental Discourse: Art of Mexico and the United States Today.

At the Blaffer Gallery, Dr. Bacigalupi has been at the forefront of organizing insightful projects that relate to the community and stimulate excitement and growth in acceptance of the visual arts. One recent example is an exhibition organized by Bacigalupi on Michael Ray Charles, a Texas-based artist who creates controversial and challenging work based on images of African-Americans used in the media and advertising from the 1920s to the 1950's. The exhibition was widely attended by the community, and the innovative catalogue earned Bacigalupi and the Blaffer Gallery the first prize in the American Association of Museums publication competition for 1997-98.

In a concurrent action at the Tuesday meeting, the museum's Board of Trustees also bid farewell to the institution's director of almost 20 years. "It is with gratitude for years of outstanding service and recognition of his many accomplishments that the Board of Trustees has released Steve Brezzo from future responsibilities through the balance of his contract," said Dessent. "We know that his creative talents will carry him far and we extend our best wishes for much continued success in his future endeavors."

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This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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