Clayton Library director named
The board of directors of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum has named Cynthia Hudley, a UC Santa Barbara education professor, as interim executive director, succeeding Avery Clayton, the son of the library's founder who died at age 62 after suffering a heart attack Thursday.
The board also announced that it is beginning a search for an executive director to oversee one of the nation's largest independent collections of African American historical material.
Hudley, the board's vice president, was a longtime Clayton family friend. "Given her education background and that she was familiar with the collection and knew Mrs. Clayton and Avery, there isn't anyone more qualified for carrying on our mission during this period," said Evelyn Davis, a library spokesperson.
Avery Clayton had been working to create a library and museum for the hundreds of thousands of books, photographs, artifacts and papers his mother had amassed. He had moved the trove — much of which was stuffed in Mayme Clayton's West Adams garage -- to a former Culver City courthouse he hoped to transform into a multilevel complex open to scholars and the public.
"Everyone — family, colleagues, friends, board members, staff — is committed to making sure his work and her incredible legacy continue," Davis said.
Avery Clayton's funeral will be private, but a public memorial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be sent to the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, 4130 Overland Avenue, Culver City 90230-3734.
-- Karen Wada
Photo: Avery Clayton, shown with pieces from his mother's collection. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times