Inside the Museum is a series of public conversations between Laguna Art Museum Executive Director Malcolm Warner and other prominent museum professionals. On April 24, 2014, Warner welcomed Hugh Davies, the David Copley Director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, for a lively discussion.
Hugh M. Davies is recognized internationally as a scholar in the field of contemporary and modern art. Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego since 1983, Davies has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions during his tenure, including: Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface (2011-2012), Robert Irwin: Primaries and Secondaries (2007), Francis Bacon: The Papal Portraits of 1953 (1999), and William Kentridge: Weighing…and Wanting (1998). Davies was one of six co-curators who organized the Biennial 2000 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and in 1976 he served as Director of the U.S. Exhibition at the 37th Venice Biennale. From 1975 to 1983 he was the founding director of the University Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly the University Gallery) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since 1984 he has been a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors; he was a Trustee from 1994 to 2001, and President in 1997-1998.
In addition to his leadership role at MCASD, Davies holds positions on a number of boards and committees. At the University of California, San Diego he serves on the Stuart Collection Advisory Board, and also as a member of the Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department. Internationally, he is a member of the Francis Bacon Authentication Committee, based in London. British artist Francis Bacon was the subject of Davies’ doctoral dissertation, and he has subsequently published extensively on Bacon’s work. Davies received his A.B., summa cum laude (1970), M.F.A. (1972), and Ph.D. (1976) from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University.