Max Hollein Is Leaving FAMSF For The Met In NYC

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Max Hollein at the Bouquets to Art Gala on March 12th, 2018
Max Hollein at the Bouquets to Art Gala on March 12th, 2018

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Although he only took the job two short years ago, Max Hollein is leaving his position as director of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco (FAMSF). The Metropolitan Museum of Art has appointed Hollein as its new director. The Metropolitan had been searching for a new leader for over a year. Hollein will serve as the 10th director in the museum’s 147-year history.

Max Hollein and Dede Wilsey at the Klimt & Rodin donor reception on October 26, 2017
Max Hollein and Dede Wilsey at the Klimt & Rodin donor reception on October 26, 2017

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Hollein came to SF in 2016 from Germany where he oversaw three institutions in Frankfurt for 15 years. Last Friday, during the museum’s annual fundraiser, the Mid-Winter Gala, Hollein was recognized in a speech by one of the event’s co-chairs, Trevor Traina. Traina gave a glowing toast to Hollein and thanked him for his hard work. Did Traina know of his departure? Perhaps. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Traina’s mother, Dede Wilsey, knew that Hollein was considering the job at the Met. She told the Chron, “when Max told me about this a couple of weeks ago, I told him he had to take the job. The only place that could compare is the Louvre.” Could Wilsey have mentioned the news to her son? 

Nina Hollen and Max Hollein at An Elegant Evening in the Court of Honor last December
Nina Hollen and Max Hollein at An Elegant Evening in the Court of Honor last December

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

During his short tenure at FAMSF, Hollein fixed the organization’s financial issues, setting 2018 on track to end with a slight surplus in the budget. No word on who will replace Hollein at FAMSF, which controls the De Young and Legion of Honor. However, Wilsey and a committee have already begin the search for a new leader to follow in Hollein’s footsteps. 

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