Douglas Macagy and the Foundations of Modern Art Curatorship
MacAgy changed museums from mausoleums to happenings. He was on the cutting edge of modern art movements from American abstract expressionism to conceptualism. MacAgy fought as an independent educator against the forces using art for political ends. His friends were the great artists of his day, including Clyfford Still and Marcel Duchamp. Only his first wife Jermayne rivaled him as an installer of art. Canadian born, he was international in his influence. From a privileged student at the Barnes Foundation through innovative years at the San Francisco Museum of Art, as Director at the California School of Fine Arts from 1945-50 when he was the catalyst for the advent of American abstraction, as curator at MOMA, as the spirit behind the modern art movement in Dallas, as the interpreter of European art to America, to the head of the National Endowment for the Arts, MacAgy taught the public and shaped the culture.