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By Ralph Derickson


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Jack Blanton, UK vice chancellor for administration, announced Donald E. Sands' appointment as acting director to replace Harriett Fowler-Mobley. A national search is continuing to find a permanent director.

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July 3, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Donald E. Sands, former vice chancellor for academic affairs and former chair of the chemistry department, will come out of retirement to serve as acting director of the University of Kentucky Art Museum until a permanent successor is selected to replace the current director, Harriett Fowler-Mobley, who retired June 30.

Fowler-Mobley has been director of the Art Museum, located in the Singletary Center for the Arts at Rose Street and Euclid Avenue, since 1990. Jack Blanton, UK vice chancellor for administration, announced Sands' appointment.  A national search is continuing to find a permanent director.  Blanton and Robert Shay, dean of the UK College of Fine Arts, are co-chairing the search committee seeking a new Art Museum director.

"It is essential that the university take the time to find a first-rate director for the museum which is facing potentially dramatic changes," Blanton said.  One of the changes is a proposal to move the museum into the Fayette County Courthouse in downtown Lexington after the courts move to new facilities that are under construction.

Sands, who joined UK's faculty in 1962 as an assistant professor of chemistry, has served in other interim positions at UK, the most recent in 1997 when he was acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences during a national search for a permanent dean.

Sands said he is pleased to serve as acting Art Museum director.  "I am honored to accept this interim appointment," Sands said, "because I have always had an abiding love for the Art Museum and its importance to the university's teaching and community services missions."

Founded in 1976, the University Art Museum has a growing permanent collection of almost 4,000 works in all media and an active schedule of exhibitions and education programs.  Its permanent collection has grown steadily over the past 25 years, gathering significant strength in the 1990s with the George and Susan Proskauer bequest -- a major gift of modernist and folk art as well as art glass--and the Robert C. May Photography Endowment. The bequest of a former IBM employee and photography instructor at UK, the May endowment included more than 1,000 photographs and funds to establish a lecture series featuring outstanding photographers.

In addition to collection growth, the museum's support groups -- notably, the Docents (tour leaders), Friends, and Collectors -- have been responsible for increased outreach activity and a higher public profile for the museum in the community. 

The museum gained national prominence in 1981 when an extensive and priceless collection of  "Old Masters" artwork by such artists as Rembrandt, Mary Casatt, van Gogh, Rubens, Monet and many others owned by the late billionaire Armand Hammer was displayed there for several weeks.  

CONTACT:  Donald Sands, (859) 257-5716.

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