(New York, June 21, 2005)—Michael Gallagher, who has been Keeper of Conservation at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh since 1999, will be the new Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge of the Department of Painting Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was announced by Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan. The election, which was formally approved by the Museum's Board of Trustees, is effective July 1, 2005. Mr. Gallagher will assume the post in October.
Commenting on the appointment, Philippe de Montebello stated: "The breadth and depth of Michael Gallagher's work in painting conservation complements the areas in which the Met's encyclopedic collections are particularly strong – medieval art, Old Masters, and European paintings of the 19th century. Personally, I am delighted that he has agreed to join the Museum, and I know that the institution will benefit greatly from his experience and leadership."
"I am absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to join the Met," said Mr. Gallagher. "It is an institution that sets a benchmark for excellence in the arts and I look forward to joining the first-class painting conservation team."
Mr. Gallagher, who was born in Liverpool, was educated in the conservation of easel paintings at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, a department of the Fitzwilliam
Museum at the University of Cambridge (England). As Keeper of Conservation at the National Galleries of Scotland, he oversaw more than two dozen staff members in the Conservation and Registrars' Departments and was directly responsible for the conservation of a number of major paintings. These works include: Sandro Botticelli's The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child, Thomas Gainsborough's William 1st Earl Cathcart, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's A Young Man with a Basket of Fruit, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo's The Rape of Europa, and Anthony Van Dyck's St. Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom.
An active participant in BBC television and radio broadcasts, Mr. Gallagher has also lectured about paintings and paintings conservation in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Mr. Gallagher began his career in the United States with a position as paintings conservation intern from 1991-92 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and as assistant conservator (and then associate conservator) of paintings from 1992-95 at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. As a contractual conservator from 1995 to 1999 for the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, he conserved six panels from an altarpiece by the Master of the Crispin Legend, wings of an altarpiece by the Master of the Darmstadt Passion, and Saints Gregory, Maurus, Papianus, and Domitilla by Peter Paul Rubens.
Mr. Gallagher fills a position that was left vacant by the death of Dr. Hubert von Sonnenburg in July 2004.
# # #
June 21, 2005