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Kimbell Art Museum's Malcolm Warner named Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum
Malcolm Warner was the deputy director at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: Courtesy of the Kimbell Art Museum.

LAGUNA BEACH, CA.- The Board of Trustees of Laguna Art Museum announced today that Malcolm Warner, deputy director at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, has been appointed executive director of Laguna Art Museum. Warner will assume his position January 3, 2012.

“I am so pleased to have an executive director who is an internationally recognized scholar, arts leader, and an individual who is beloved by the local community he currently serves. Malcolm Warner is the ideal executive director to lead Laguna Art Museum due to his historical art background coupled with his desire to engage contemporary art and artists. He will continue the museum’s dedication to quality programming with a focused examination of California art while also broadening and deepening access and engaging the local community," said Robert Hayden III, president of the Board of Trustees.

Warner joined the Kimbell Art Museum ten years ago as senior curator. He was previously curator of European art at the San Diego Museum of Art and senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art. He became the Kimbell’s deputy director in 2007 and served for a period of eighteen months as the museum’s acting director.

“ Laguna Art Museum is a gem—a small institution with a great history, a youthful attitude, and the clear mission of showcasing the best of California art, past and present. I’ve been interested in California ’s rich art culture since working as a curator at the San Diego Museum of Art. There’s still a lot for me to learn, but that’s part of the attraction of the job. It’s the kind of adventure, professionally and intellectually, that I’ve been hoping my next step would be. The board and staff at Laguna are wonderfully enthusiastic and can-do. There’s a strong arts community. And the current Pacific Standard Time project, in effect a giant, multi-venue exhibition of postwar California art, makes this an especially exciting moment to be starting,” said Warner about his new position.

The exhibitions Warner has curated at the Kimbell include Stubbs and the Horse, also shown at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, and the National Gallery, London (2004-2005); The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso, also shown at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid (2007); and Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons: Film Installations by Philip Haas Inspired by Works in the Collection (2009).

The Mirror and the Mask was Apollo magazine’s Exhibition of the Year in 2007, and Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons was listed as no. 7 in TIME magazine’s “Top Ten Exhibitions” of 2009.

While serving as acting director at the Kimbell, Warner brought to the museum an exhibition of some of the most celebrated and iconic works of the great Impressionist painters through a loan of about ninety paintings from the Chicago Art Institute’s world-renowned Impressionist collection. The Art Institute’s Impressionist collection had never before left Chicago in such a large group.

Warner helped devise the functional building program for the Kimbell’s new building, and since 2007 has been a member of the team of four staff members working closely with Renzo Piano and his associates through the process of design. The building is now under construction and due to be completed in 2013.

Warner was born in Aldershot , England , and pursued both undergraduate and graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London . He received his Ph.D. from the Courtauld in 1985. His doctoral dissertation was on the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. He remains the leading authority on Millais and, as a long-term project, is preparing a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works.

Among the exhibitions that Warner curated before joining the Kimbell are The Victorians: British Painting in the Reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (1997); This Other Eden: British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale, which toured Australian museums (1998); Millais: Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London (1999); James Tissot: Victorian Life/Modern Love at the Yale Center for British Art and other venues (1999); and Great British Paintings from American Collections: Holbein to Hockney at Yale and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California (2001-2002).

His publications have ranged widely over European art from the eighteenth century to the twentieth, with an emphasis on art in Britain . They include various articles and essays on Millais and other Victorian painters, an introductory history of portraiture, a guidebook to places in Britain associated with artists, and a catalogue of British paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has taught courses in art history at the University of Manchester , the University of Cambridge , and the University of Chicago. The Board of Trustees selected Warner after an extensive search, following the resignation of Bolton Colburn in May 2011.

Hayden said, “The Board of Trustees is incredibly thankful for the professionalism, dedication, and skill with which Dennis Boyer led the search committee.” Until 2004, Boyer was a senior partner with the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles in the Los Angeles office. He is a long-term supporter of Laguna Art Museum and a member of its Historical Art Council.

The search committee, headed by Board President, Robert Hayden III, included members of the museum’s Executive Committee—Rick Balzer, Marshall Eichenauer, Jr., and Elyse Caraco Miller—as well as prominent community members Emil Monda, Craig Sannum, Dr. Igal Silber, Carol Rhoads, and Dennis Boyer who provided his services on a pro-bono basis.

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Sotheby's London sale of European paintings estimated to bring in excess of £11 million

Kimbell Art Museum's Malcolm Warner named Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum

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