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Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, David Becker, Dies
David was most recently employed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts where he was the Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings.
BRUNSWICK, ME.- David Becker died on November 26, 2010 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice in Scarborough, ME. He was born in Albany, NY on October 15, 1947 and educated at The Albany Academy, the Taft School, and Bowdoin College from which he graduated in 1970 with a degree in history. While there, he discovered the Bowdoin Museum of Art and began developing an interest in art and especially printmaking. In 1983 he received a Master of Arts degree from New York University. In addition to receiving a Chester Dale Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, David did coursework at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School in 1999 and 2009. David was most recently employed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts where he was the Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings.

David demonstrated exceptional organizational and political abilities in his professional career as a collector and curator of prints, drawings, and rare books. His publications include The Imprint of Place: Maine Printmaking 1800-2005, Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College, and numerous scholarly articles. He lectured on many subjects and taught Art History, History of Print Making, and the History of Graphic Design at Bowdoin and Bates College and the Maine College of Art.

David was a trustee of the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and a board member with the Haymarket People’s Fund, the Working Group on Funding Lesbian and Gay Issues of the National Network of Grantmakers, and the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Boston. While on the board of the Maine Community Foundation, David was instrumental in establishing the Maine Equity Fund whose mission is to provide funding for further development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations in Maine. David was founder of OUT—A Fund for Gay and Lesbian Liberation. He also served as a member of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

David was a steadfast supporter of Bowdoin College, its Museum of Art and other Bowdoin organizations. In June 2010, David was the recipient of Bowdoin’s Alumni Service Award, the highest honor given by the Bowdoin Alumni Council. The award was presented in recognition of David’s four decades of service to the College, including as an overseer (1986-96); as a trustee (1996-98); as a member of the Visiting Committee and Collections Committee for the Museum of Art (1992); and as a member of the Bowdoin Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association. The award also recognized David’s enormous generosity to the College, including a gift to establish the Becker Print Gallery in memory of his parents; donations to support Museum of Art renovations; and endowed funds and projects in support of the Museum, Bowdoin’s Library, photography, music, the South African Scholarship Fund, and the Lesbian and Gay Lectureship Fund.

David’s activist philanthropy in the greater community was recognized by The Maine Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance's (now Equality Maine) Great Pioneer Award in 1994 and by Maine Initiative's Golden Grower Philanthropist Award in 2001. David also financially and politically supported many other progressive social change organizations including the Astraea Foundation and the Proud Rainbow Youth of Southern Maine (PRYSM).

David is survived by his brother, John J. Becker of Pittsboro, NC and his sister, Katherine B. Finney of Philadelphia, PA and ten nieces and nephews. David leaves many friends and professional colleagues around New England, the US and beyond.

Museum of Fine Arts | Boston | David Becker |


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