Former Art Museum Director Has Died

Jean S. Boggs served during tough time for institution.

The Inquirer reports that Jean Sutherland Boggs, director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1978 to 1982, has died at the age of 92.

Boggs led the institution during a tough and transitional time in his history, the Inquirer reported.

For some time before her arrival, trustees had been authorizing use of the museum’s minuscule endowment to cover chronic operating deficits. The federal government then began cutting funds for the arts, hitting museum programs badly.

Friction between museum guards, who at the time were city employees, and the museum administration, which was dependent on city subsidies, led to closed galleries. Staff members were laid off. The museum went dark two days a week.

Some trustees questioned Dr. Boggs’ fund-raising ability.

Despite the woes, she said she was “not discouraged by the inevitable limitations of money from the city. I have the greatest expectations for the future of the museum.”

Boggs’ career also saw her serve as the first woman director of the National Gallery in Canada; she also later was head of the Canada Museums Construction Corp. She is survived by a sister.