Brown, John Carter
1934 - Born on October 8th in Providence, Rhode Island. American director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and one of the most prominent and powerful forces in the postwar American artworld.
- He studied Renaissance art at Harvard and at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, spent time with Bernard Berenson at Villa I Tatti in Florence, and acquired an MBA, in those days still an unusual arrow in the director's quiver.
1961 - Brown joined the National Gallery as an assistant to the Director, John Walker.
1964 - He was appointed assistant director.
1969 - At the age of 34, he was appointed Director of the National Gallery.
- As director of the National Gallery, he added some 20,000 works to the collection, oversaw the construction of its East Building by I.M. Pei, increased the budget from $3.2 million to $52.3 million, and boosted attendance from 1.3 million to 5.7 million visitors a year.
1991 - He received the National Medal of arts, was decorated by more than a dozen foreign countries, and was awarded more than 20 honorary degrees.
1992 - He left the National Gallery and having just celebrated its 50th anniversary by attracting more than 2,000 artworks and $25 million dollars, he was the institution's longest serving director.
- He became chairman of Ovation, a cable television arts network that furthered his ambition to "bring the arts into people's living rooms".
- Worked as an advisor to Corbis, a digital photo archive established by Bill Gates that has since stockpiled millions of museum images.
1996 - He used his clout to mount "Rings: Five Passions in World Art," a thematic exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta that accompanied the Olympic Games.
- He continued to serve also as trustee of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, founded by his ancestors, and as chairman of the jury for the prestigious Pritzker Prize in architecture.
2000 - Brown was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a terminal blood cancer. He confronted his illness with the same dignity and courage that had characterized his entire life and career.
2002 - Died on June 17th at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Page last updated: 4:15pm, 30th Aug '07