John Edward BUCHANAN Jr.

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BUCHANAN, JR., John EdwardOf San Francisco, CA, passed away Friday, December 30, 2011 at age 58 from pancreatic cancer. Buchanan joined the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) in February 2006. During his six year tenure, the Legion of Honor and de Young Museums became the fourth most visited Museums in North America and sixteenth in the world. Membership also grew by 63% to over 120,000 households to become the third largest museum membership in the country. During the same period, Buchanan enhanced the Museums' permanent holdings by adding over 4,700 artworks in all collection areas and oversaw the production of 31 catalogues and scholarly publications. While at FAMSF, Buchanan presented a robust portfolio of over one hundred critically acclaimed and popular exhibitions. A crowning achievement of the Museums' exhibition history and Mr. Buchanan's professional career, was the presentation of two Musée d'Orsay exhibitions at the de Young Museum in 2010-11 - Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay and Van Gogh, Gauguiin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay. Buchanan was especially proud of two companion exhibitions, which were drawn from the Museums' permanent collections, Impressionist Paris: City of Light and Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism. On his last day at the Museums, he was planning exhibitions years into the future. It was his hope that even if he would not be bearing witness to these great works of art that truly help define what it means to be human, others would. A Tennessee native, Buchanan earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sewanee, The University of the South, and a Masters in Art History from Vanderbilt University. The emphasis of his study was on the Japanese influence on American Art. Prior to becoming director of the FAMSF, he was executive director of the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon (1994-2005), director of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, TN (1986-1994), and executive director of the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences in Peoria, IL (1982-1986). While a coordinator at the American Association of Museums (1980-1982), he founded the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) that is still in practice thirty years later. Buchanan began his career in museums as a coordinator of museum development for the Tennessee State Museum while still a graduate student. He received numerous awards and appointments during his career including the Legion d' Honneur and the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres, presented by the French government, and as a Presidential appointee on the National Museum Services Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Buchanan was a member of the Association of American Museum Directors, the American Association of Museums, and served as general chair person for the 2003 annual meeting in Portland, a board member of the American Friends of the Royal Horticultural Society, a steering committee of the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME), a member of the International Silver Society, and a life member of the Dixon Gallery and Garden. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Jean McRae Buchanan. He is survived by his wife, Lucy Matthews Buchanan, of San Francisco; his uncle, Louis Buchanan; his aunt, Edith Buchanan McCoy, both of Nashville, and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville will be held on Wednesday, January 4, at 1 p.m. with the funeral service to follow at 2 p.m. and burial at Spring Hill Cemetery afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of John Buchanan to: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, attention: Sabina Crivello, de Young Museum, 50 Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94118, or call 415-750-3687. Tennessee State Museum, 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN, 37243. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117. SPRING HILL FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY, 5110 Gallatin Road at Briley Parkway, Nashville, TN 37216, (615) 865-1101. www.springhillfh.com
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Funeral Home
Spring Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery
5110 Gallatin Pike Nashville, TN 37216
(615) 865-1101
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Tennessean on Jan. 2, 2012
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