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Roger Mandle, a Prolific Museum Director, Dies at 79

Roger Mandle, a Prolific Museum Director, Dies at 79
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Roger Mandle, a Prolific Museum Director, Dies at 79

Roger Mandle, a Prolific Museum Director, Dies at 79

When the cellist Yo-Yo Ma wanted a brand new headquarters for his Silk Highway Mission in 2005, Roger Mandle, then president of the Rhode Island Faculty of Design, gave the group a house on his campus.

When a member of Qatar’s royal household was seeking to make her nation into an artwork vacation spot in 2008, Mr. Mandle took on the event of greater than a dozen museums in Doha.

And when some in 2016 questioned the quixotic nature of a start-up artwork museum in New Bedford, Mass., Mr. Mandle persevered and — collectively together with his spouse, Gayle Wells Mandle — succeeded in establishing the Massachusetts Design Artwork & Expertise Institute.

Mr. Mandle died on Nov. 28 at his dwelling in Dartmouth, Mass. He was 79. Ms. Mandle, a mixed-media painter, stated the trigger was most cancers.

“Roger Mandle had the soul of an artist, the character of a gentleman and the knowledge of a statesman,” Mr. Ma stated in an interview.

Mr. Mandle served as government director and chief officer of museums on the Qatar Museums Authority, overseeing the Museum of Islamic Artwork and the Qatar Pure Historical past Museum, amongst others, from 2008 to 2012.

Working carefully with Sheikha al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, then a very powerful purchaser within the artwork market, Mr. Mandle organized the development of a number of museums, together with the Nationwide Museum of Qatar, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel.

Mr. Mandle additionally personally oversaw main installations in Qatar with artists together with Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra and Takashi Murakami.

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“He helped create a street map for the event of the Qatari artwork program,” stated Edward Dolman, the chief government of the Phillips public sale home, who spent three years because the director of the sheikha’s workplace and in addition served because the appearing chief government of Qatar Museums.

“The wonderful thing about Qatar at the moment,” Mr. Dolman stated, “was you may experiment, and there was a number of discuss in regards to the function of museums.”

Earl Roger Mandle was born on Could 13, 1941, in Hackensack, N.J., to Phyllis Key Oberg Mandle, who labored in attire design, and Earl Simmons Mandle, a graphic designer who went into the household meat enterprise.

He began out eager to be an artist and majored in portray at Williams School. He switched to artwork historical past and museum research whereas incomes his grasp’s diploma in 1967 at New York College’s Institute of Wonderful Arts.

Mr. Mandle grew to become an professional in 18th-century Dutch portray and, as affiliate director of the Minneapolis Institute of Artwork, organized an vital exhibition on the topic.

That present earned him the eye of the Toledo Museum of Artwork in Ohio, the place he spent about 15 years, first as affiliate director after which as director. He organized a serious exhibition of El Greco, the Sixteenth-century Spanish artist, that drew report crowds in 1982 and that, Gadget Clock stated on the time, was “acknowledged as a very powerful exhibition on that artist ever assembled.”

That present in flip prompted J. Carter Brown, then director of the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork in Washington, to make Mr. Mandle his deputy and chief curator. He labored on the Nationwide Gallery from 1988 to 1993.

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Throughout that interval, Mr. Mandle additionally served as a member of the Nationwide Council on the Arts beneath Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, serving to form U.S. artwork and design coverage.

Mr. Mandle grew to become president of the Rhode Island Faculty of Design in Windfall in 1993. Over 15 years he quadrupled the varsity’s endowment to $400 million and oversaw the creation of a museum designed by one other Pritzker Prize–successful architect, Rafael Moneo.

Whereas presiding over the Rhode Island Faculty, Mr. Mandle wrote his dissertation at night time on 18th-century Dutch artwork. He earned a Ph.D. in 2002 from Case Western Reserve College, whilst he remained accessible to college students.

“He by no means missed a possibility to satisfy with college students regardless of his busy schedule,” stated one entry on a web site created in his honor. “They adored him.”

Joe Gebbia, a founding father of Airbnb and a Rhode Island Faculty of Design alumnus, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Mandle “was an early supporter of my entrepreneurial pursuits on campus.”

After Mr. Mandle returned from Qatar to the Rhode Island space, he served on quite a few boards, together with these of the American Affiliation of Museums, the Williams School Museum of Artwork, the Clark Artwork Museum and Silk Highway.

The design institute he and his spouse based has been capable of proceed presenting free up to date artwork exhibitions, performances and academic applications in numerous outside places.

Along with his spouse, whom he married in 1964, Mr. Mandle is survived by a son, Luke; a daughter, Julia Mandle; a sister, Julia Kiechel; and 5 grandchildren.

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Mr. Gardner’s different nice passions have been gardening and poetry. He typically mixed them.

The household, in a press release, known as gardening “a superb metaphor for his life’s philosophy of lovingly nurturing and mentoring all of these round him to succeed in for his or her highest potential.”

In a single poem, he wrote:

On the again of my neck I really feel heat now, coming
Spring; time to until all of it beneath. Prepared the bottom
For the subsequent spherical: satan’s tongue, iceberg, arugula!
The throb of the tractor’s hub, the shovel’s schlump —
I stab on the grime, turning out the final of the nippiness.


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