Eugene Victor Thaw has been elected an Honorary Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was announced today by James R. Houghton, the Museum's Chairman. The election took place at the September 10 meeting of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Thaw, a dealer of Old Master drawings and prints, has presided over the New York firm that bears his name since 1950. Known also as a collector and a scholar, he has written numerous articles, essays, reviews, and catalogues. He is a contributing editor to The New Republic.
"The Metropolitan Museum is pleased to recognize Gene Thaw for his many years of meritorious support by electing him an Honorary Trustee," commented Mr. Houghton in announcing the election. "A steadfast and generous friend of the Museum for some two decades, his distinguished record includes the donation of numerous important works of art from his own collection and indefatigable work in support of many departments."
Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan, added: "The Museum's collections of Asian art, modern art, European paintings, and European sculpture and decorative arts have all been enriched through Gene's many gifts and his diverse and wide-ranging interests. Our fall exhibition Nomadic Art from the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other New York Collections is just a recent example of his generosity, featuring many outstanding ancient works that he collected and recently donated to the Museum, thereby enhancing our holdings and providing fertile ground for generations of scholars to come."
Eugene Thaw began his affiliation with the Metropolitan Museum in 1981 and was elected a Benefactor in 1989. His past service includes membership in the Chairman's Council and in the Friends and the Visiting Committees of many curatorial departments; he also provided support for paintings conservation and the special exhibitions endowment.
In addition to his work with the Metropolitan Museum, Mr. Thaw is an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and a trustee of The J. Pierpont Morgan Library. He has given his collections of European Master drawings of the 15th to 20th centuries to the Morgan Library (on view beginning in September) and of Native American art to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Mr. Thaw holds an honorary doctorate from Hartwick College (Oneonta, New York).
Among his awards are the 1996 Mayor's Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the 2001 Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Award for Outstanding Patronage of the Arts from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Culture. Most recently, the American Association of Museums selected Mr. Thaw to receive its 2002 Medal for Distinguished Philanthropy. The medal, which will be presented this October during National Arts and Humanities Month, honors persons or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to museums.
Mr. Thaw is president and Mrs. Thaw is a trustee of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, which supports the arts, ecology and the environment, and animal rights and protection.
Mr. Thaw received graduate training in art history at Columbia University.
September 30, 2002