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Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury Remembered by Heritage Auction Galleries

Edmund P. Pillsbury Ph.D., Heritage’s Chairman of Fine Arts and Director of Museum Services

Edmund P. Pillsbury Ph.D., Heritage’s Chairman of Fine Arts and Director of Museum Services

In Memoriam: Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury – 1943-2010

A statement from Heritage Auctions Co-Founders Steve Ivy and Jim Halperin on the sudden passing of Edmund P. Pillsbury Ph.D., Heritage’s Chairman of Fine Arts and Director of Museum Services.

We learned this morning of the passing of Dr. Edmund P. (“Ted”) Pillsbury at the age of 66 from an apparent heart attack yesterday afternoon after returning from lunch with a consignor. All of us here at Heritage Auction Galleries wish to express our deepest sympathy to his wife, children, coworkers and all others who knew and loved him.

Dr. Pillsbury was well-known as one of the world’s foremost art museum professionals. He earned his Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance Art from the University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art. Among the places that flourished under his leadership are: The Yale Center for British Art; the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London; the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth, TX (he served as director of the Kimbell for 18 years and built it into one of the greatest art museums in the world); the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas, and the Meadows Museum at SMU. He also served as an advisor to The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Ted joined the Heritage family in 2005 and, with his dynamism, unimpeachable reputation and encyclopedic knowledge of Fine Art, made an immediate impact as Chairman of our Fine Arts and Museum Services departments. He essentially built both departments from scratch, recruiting a world class team of experts and other professionals.

His tenure here at Heritage lasted nearly five years, the longest of any institution he served other than the Kimbell, and we all expected to be working with him for many more years to come. This is such a sad day for Heritage’s 375 employees, and for the art community at large. Ted will be terribly missed, though his legacy proudly continues.

Steve Ivy & Jim Halperin

Edmund P. Pillsbury Ph.D., Heritage’s Chairman of Fine Arts and Director of Museum Services

Edmund P. Pillsbury Ph.D., Heritage’s Chairman of Fine Arts and Director of Museum Services

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3 responses to “Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury Remembered by Heritage Auction Galleries”

  1. I got to meet Dr. Pillsbury while working at Heritage Auction Galleries in 2005. He was a charming individual who really knew his art. You could listen to Dr. Pillsbury talk about art for hours. That’s passion.

    I remember sketching him during a lecture he was giving to the staff about the latest fine art action. Artistically speaking, he was a joy to look at in his three piece, pinstriped suit along with his formal posture and gestures. I remember asking him to sign the sketch. Dr. Pillsbury graciously signed my drawing (it wasn’t very good) with a kind word. Cheers.

  2. Medina Wong says:

    I was introduced to Dr. Pillsbury by Blair Tarley a few months ago, we met with artist Lap Ngo about arts. I have always liked arts, I also just started learning oil paintings from Mr. Ngo. Dr. Phillsbury was very down to earth, very warm, very charming, and definitely very knowledgeable to talk about his learning of art history, his effort in promoting arts, he also wished more young people got to seek out arts, the beauty and the history. The conversation opened up my horizon and my belief that many people do treasure arts and history, not just their jobs and their possessions. He absolutely set good examples for many. He is deeply missed. Medina Wong – a business woman with deep interests in people, arts, and business.

  3. larry powell says:

    I had the honor and priveledge to accompany Ted to the wilds of west cork in Ireland to visit the studio of Irish artist John Kingerlee…Ted had seen his work in a gallery in Dallas and felt it to be so outstanding that he had to visit the artist himself in Ireland which was really a pigrimage ….on behalf of the people üf Ireland we send our sincere condolences to his family , friends and colleagues in Texas……we all felt that his presence enriched our lives even though it was only for 4 days…….he was so impressed by the artists work that he comleted a major essay on his work which will be the subject of a catalogue , a major book and a short film of his stay in Ireland which I hope his family will accept as a tribute of his stay in Ireland in a place of outstanding beauty in West Cork Ireland……He will always be in our hearts and prayers…. we in Ireland .including John Kingerlee and the many people he met are all devestated by the sad news…he will forever be in our hearts….yours very sincerely ….Larry Powell …John Kingerlees agent