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Bolton Colburn moves from Laguna Art Museum to, yes, surfing

January 24, 2012 |  1:23 pm


It's certainly one of the more interesting career moves we've seen recently. Bolton Colburn, who recently stepped down as the head of the Laguna Art Museum after 14 years, has been named the executive director of the Surfing Heritage Foundation.

In his new role, Colburn will oversee an organization whose goal is to "preserve, present, and promote surfing's heritage," according to the group. The Surfing Heritage Foundation, which is based in San Clemente, said it has a collection of 500 surfboards, 250,000 photographs and an archive of various surfing memorabilia.

When Colburn resigned last year from the Laguna Art Museum, he told The Times that he was aiming to pursue "ideas I'd like to accomplish in the sphere of visual art," possibly involving writing projects and exhibitions.

His new job arguably represents a departure from his stated goals. The Surfing Heritage Foundation said in a release Tuesday that Colburn will help the organization raise its profile in the museum world, among other objectives.

In his personal life, Colburn has been an avid surfer, according to the foundation. During his tenure at the Laguna museum, he even helped to oversee the 2002 exhibition "Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing."

Colburn has spent most of his career in the world of art museums, including positions at the Orange County Museum of Art and the former La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. In November, the Laguna Art Museum named Malcolm Warner as its new executive director.


Malcolm Warner of Kimbell to run Laguna Art Museum

Bolton Colburn resigns after 14 years as Laguna Art Museum's director

Surfing Heritage Foundation wants to collect oral histories of wave riders

-- David Ng

Photo: Surfers off of Dana Point, taken by early surf photographer, Doc Ball, in 1939. Credit: Surfing Heritage Foundation