In Memoriam: James T. Demetrion

We mourn the passing of James T. Demetrion, the distinguished former director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden who in his seventeen-year tenure, from 1984 to 2001, transformed an idiosyncratic private art collection into a world-class museum of modern and contemporary art. After his retirement he became a spirited and engaged trustee of The Phillips Collection and an enthusiastic supporter of Wolfgang Laib’s permanent wax room at the Phillips. “Jim Demetrion was an inspiring museum director and a great mentor,” said Klaus Ottmann, The Phillips Collection’s chief curator, who in 2000 curated the Laib retrospective at the Hirshhorn under Demetrion’s leadership.

James T. Demetrion with Brice Marden’s Cold Mountain 2, 1989–91. Photo: Cathy Carver, from Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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