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Robin Nicholson named Director of the Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh
Robin Nicholson is currently Deputy Director for Art and Education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Board of Trustees of the Frick Art & Historical Center announces the appointment of Robin Nicholson as the institution’s third director. Currently Deputy Director for Art and Education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Nicholson will assume his new post in Pittsburgh on September 2.

Mr. Nicholson’s appointment is the result of an intensive national search, conducted by a Search Committee that was formed immediately following the October 2013 retirement announcement of current Director Bill Bodine, whose 12-year tenure began in 2002. The seven-member Search Committee worked in collaboration with Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.

Search Committee Chair Betsy Watkins comments, “The Search Committee enthusiastically recommended Mr. Nicholson to the Board. We are impressed by his creative energy, his scholarship, his appreciation for our collections, and his ideas about programming at the Frick. We feel fortunate to have attracted someone of his caliber to the Frick and are confident that he will bring inspired leadership to the institution.”

Carolyn ‘Cary’ Reed, Chair of the Frick's Board of Trustees, says, “We are excited about welcoming Mr. Nicholson to the Frick in September. He joins us at an important time in the Center’s history, as we open a new Orientation Center and break ground for renovated spaces for our education programs, a new carriage gallery and a community center.”

This summer the Frick will open an Orientation Center, which will serve as a point of entry for visitors. The completion of this new facility marks the culmination of the first phase of a site- wide expansion project that began in 2012. The second phase of the project is planned to begin this summer.

Robin Nicholson has served as Deputy Director for Art and Education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts since 2010. In this post, he has overseen the museum’s curatorial, exhibitions, education, statewide partnerships, publications, and library departments. Mr. Nicholson began his tenure at the VMFA in 2006 as director for exhibitions. Prior to joining the staff of the VMFA, he spent 14 years as director and curator of the corporate art collection of the Drambuie Corporation, headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, and with corporate offices in England and the United States.

A renowned scholar of the art of the 18th-century Stuart royal courts in Paris and Rome, Robin Nicholson was educated at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and the University of Cambridge, England, where he earned an MA degree. He has published and lectured extensively on 18th- and 19th-century European art. Mr. Nicholson is the author of a book on the portraiture of Prince Charles Edward Stuart that was published by Bucknell University Press in 2002. At the VMFA, he oversaw a number of major exhibition projects, including Picasso, Masterpieces from the Musée Picasso, Paris, the most ambitious exhibition in the VMFA’s history. A 2008 alumni of the Getty Museum Leadership Program and past Chair of the Scottish Society for Art History, Mr. Nicholson served as cultural representative on the Presidential Bilateral Commission on US- Russia Relations.

In discussing his appointment as the Frick's third director, Mr. Nicholson says, “I am thrilled to take on the leadership of an organization that is poised to take its place as a true icon in the dynamic Pittsburgh cultural landscape. The legacy of two inspirational previous directors has transformed the Frick and placed it in a position of strength where anything is possible—with collections, exhibition, collaborations, interpretation, education, programs, and a great historic green space in the heart of the city. The Frick has many compelling stories to tell, a great staff, and an extraordinarily supportive board leadership; it is a unique institution with unique opportunities at a key moment in its history.”

Frick Board of Trustees Chair Cary Reed remarks, “In its relatively short history, the Frick is fortunate to have had two extraordinary directors—Dick McIntosh and Bill Bodine—each of whom made significant contributions to the institution’s development. We are confident that Robin Nicholson will build on these great legacies as we continue and expand the quality exhibitions and programs which have been the hallmarks of the Frick Art & Historical Center.”

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