David Bull, an international authority on Old Master paintings, begins his stint as visiting director for the Timken Museum of Art Tuesday. Bull will guide the institution through San Diego’s 2015 centennial celebrations in Balboa Park, which coincide with the museum's 50th anniversary celebration.
John Wilson, who has served as executive director for the Timken Museum for the past six years, is leaving the museum to pursue other opportunities.
“John has been a superb curator, overseeing efforts to arrange loans of artworks for the upcoming celebrations, mounting a stellar Innes exhibition, and re-organizing the Timken’s famous Russian Icon collection,” said Tim Zinn, Timken board president. “He enjoyed the challenge of placing contemporary work on view at the Timken in the context of its permanent Old Master works, and forged collaborations with other local museums. In keeping with that theme, the Timken mounted Behold America in collaboration with San Diego Museum of Art and San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art.”
The Timken is considered one of the great small museums in the world. It houses the world-class Putnam Foundation Collection, representing nearly 700 years of art from early Italian Renaissance devotional paintings to late 19th century paintings.
“With David Bull involved, we are further spreading our wings in the international art community,” said Zinn. “David Bull’s blend of scholarship, technical brilliance and diplomatic aplomb are legendary. For more than 50 years he has examined, cleaned and restored paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Bellini, Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Picasso and countless other masters.”
In addition to currently serving as the chairman of painting conservation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Bull is a principal and founder of Fine Art Conservation and Restoration Inc., based in New York City, consulting with private collectors, museums, art dealers and auction houses. He previously worked at the National Gallery in London, as well as serving as director at the Norton Simon Museum and head conservator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Other clients include Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Huntington Library and Art Gallery, Armand Hammer Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, New Orleans Museum of Art, National Park Service, Sotheby's, Christie's, Walter Annenberg and Paul Mellon.