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Ted Pillsbury, former Kimbell director, dies at 66

Edmund "Ted" Pillsbury, director of the Kimbell Museum from 1980 to 1998, died Thursday of an apparent heart attack after visiting a client on behalf of Heritage Galleries, where he worked at the time of his death. According to the Dallas Morning News, the death is under investigation. Pillsbury became director of the Kimbell at age 37, and for the following 18 years oversaw a series of important acquisitions that increased the museum’s stature nationally. After resigning "abruptly" in 1998, he teamed up with Gerald Peters, whose eponymous gallery became the ill-fated Pillsbury Peters, which dissolved in 2003. When Pillsbury moved on to run the Meadows Museum at SMU after that, many in Dallas reflected that his talents were best suited to the non-profit sector, as he had accomplished so much at the Kimbell. But he left the Meadows after just two years to start Heritage Galleries’ fine art auctions. In that position he made his final significant contribution to the Metroplex art scene last year, and as fate would have it, back at the Kimbell: he purportedly had a hand in helping the museum acquire the remarkable Michelangelo painting The Torment of
Saint Anthony
(c. 1487-88)
, one of only four known easel paintings
generally believed to come from the artist’s hand.

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