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Malcolm Warner of Kimbell to run Laguna Art Museum

November 2, 2011 |  1:30 pm

The Laguna Art Museum has announced the hiring of a new director: Malcolm Warner, currently deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. He will start his new job on Jan. 3, after relocating to California with his wife and two teenage children.

The Kimbell has often been described as a gem of a museum, boasting a small selection of masterpieces throughout the ages. While the Laguna Art Museum has a less prestigious collection, Warner also called it "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."

Bolton Colburn, who left the Laguna Art Museum in May, had served as the director since 1997 and worked in other capacities at the museum before that. “In many respects we’re looking for somebody with qualities similar to Bolton," Robert Hayden III, president of the museum’s board and head of the search committee, told the L.A. Times upon Colburn's resignation. "We like the idea of an art scholar running the museum."

Warner brings with him a serious academic pedigree: he earned his Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, writing his dissertation on the pre-raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. He is currently preparing a comprehensive catalogue, known as a catalogue raisonné, of the artist’s works.

His early jobs as a curator included time at the San Diego Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art. But it was at the Kimbell over the last decade where he most distinguished himself, as a curator and then deputy director. "The Mirror and the Mask: Portraiture in the Age of Picasso," was named exhibition of the year in 2007 by Apollo magazine Another show that he organized, "Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons" made Time magazine’s “Top Ten Exhibitions” of 2009.


Bolton Colburn resigns after 14 years

A long lost native son

-- Jori Finkel

Image: Malcolm Warner, the new director of the Laguna Art Museum. Credit: Courtesy of the Kimbell Art Museum.