The head of the Denver Art Museum's board of trustees, Frederic C. Hamilton, announced this afternoon that longtime boardmember Cathey McClain Finlon will become the institution's interim president. She is charged with developing long-term planning for the museum and, more tellingly, is expected to facilitate finding a replacement for Lewis Sharp, the DAM's longtime director, who has indicated that he hopes to retire within the next two years.
Sharp, whom Hamilton recruited from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has led the DAM for nearly twenty years and has overseen an enormous growth in the collection. The opening of Daniel Libeskind's Frederic C. Hamilton Building, which almost doubled the size of the facilities, also took place on his watch.
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Finlon will report to Sharp and to the board. She is best known around town as the CEO of McClain Finlon Advertising, a major firm that opened in Boulder and later relocated to Denver. Finlon closed the agency last year after more than a quarter of a century in business. During much of that time, she's also been deeply involved with the DAM, serving on the board for the past fifteen years. However, in order to take on her new duties, she will resign her seat.
Rumors have persisted since the Hamilton Building was completed that Sharp would be stepping down. Now, two and a half years later, those rumors have finally come true.