Steven Nash is President, Board of Directors, succeeding the late Phyllis Diebenkorn, widow of Richard Diebenkorn. Dr. Nash is an accomplished museum professional, curator and scholar and served most recently as the JoAnn McGrath Executive Director of the Palm Springs Art Museum from April 2007 until his retirement in January 2015. A preeminent authority on Richard Diebenkorn, Dr. Nash co-organized and was an essayist for the groundbreaking Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966 (2013) at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and is a contributor in the Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné (2016) from Yale University Press. Dr. Nash has carried out a wide variety of administrative and managerial duties, including participation in the design and installation of the Dallas Museum of Art as Deputy Director and Chief Curator (1980-88); an expanded California Palace of the Legion of Honor and De Young Museum as Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1988-2001); and the ground-up creation of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas as Founding Director (2001-2007). At the Palm Springs Art Museum, he led the renovation of the museum’s main building, oversaw the addition of two satellite facilities, helped develop the permanent collection and authored several publications. Dr. Nash has been responsible for the acquisition of more than 1,000 works of art and has organized surveys on numerous modern artists such as Naum Gabo, Henry Moore, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Alberto Giacometti and Henri Matisse; his work on Pablo Picasso includes multiple exhibitions and catalogues. He sits on various boards including the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Desert X Biennial. Dr. Nash received his B.A. cum laude at Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in art history at Stanford University.
Sarah C. Bancroft is Executive Director of the James Rosenquist Foundation in New York City, and Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs at Fluent~Collaborative/testsite in Austin, Texas. An art historian and curator, Ms. Bancroft held curatorial positions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. She specializes in modern and contemporary art, and her recent critically-acclaimed exhibitions include Richard Diebenkorn at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2015), James Rosenquist: Illustrious Works on Paper, Illuminating Paintings (2014–15), LOVE George Herms (2014), Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series (2011–12), Two Schools of Cool (2011), California Biennial (2010), and Video Work by Gao Shiquang and Chen Qiulin (2009). At the Guggenheim, she co-curated James Rosenquist: A Retrospective (2003) with the late, great American curator Walter Hopps, and coordinated a major masterpiece exhibition from the Guggenheim’s permanent collection that traveled internationally. Ms. Bancroft received advanced degrees from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.
Kathan Brown founded Crown Point Press, publishers of artists’ etchings in the San Francisco Bay Area, in 1962, and she continues to direct its program. She initially focused on local artists—etchings by Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud were the first two projects she published. Artists began coming to Crown Point from New York in the early 1970s, and by the end of the decade they were coming from around the world. The Crown Point artist list includes Chuck Close, Sol LeWitt, John Cage, Tomma Abts, Anish Kapoor, Ed Ruscha, Daniel Buren, Peter Doig, Pat Steir, Katsura Funakoshi, Laura Owens, Fred Wilson and many others. In the 1980s, Ms. Brown added Asian woodcut techniques to Crown Point’s etching program and took American artists to Japan and China to work with printers in those countries. The Museum of Modern Art in New York mounted a 25th anniversary exhibition for Crown Point, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. celebrated its 35th and 50th anniversaries with exhibitions, the 50th with a major catalogue. Kathan Brown received a B.A. from Antioch College in Ohio and an M.F.A. and honorary doctorate from California College of the Arts. She also holds an honorary doctorate from San Francisco Art Institute.
Leah Levy has been a trustee and Executive Director of The Jay DeFeo Foundation since its inception in 1991. From 1974 to 1983 she owned and directed the Leah Levy Gallery in San Francisco. She served as founding curator of Capp Street Project, an artist-in-residency program begun in 1983 in San Francisco to facilitate site-specific installations. Levy has worked internationally as an advisor on public art projects, has organized exhibitions as an independent art curator and is the author of several books and numerous catalogue essays. She is also a Director at Artists’ Legacy Foundation.
Geoffrey L. Thomas is a retired General Counsel and Litigation Partner at the Paul Hastings law firm in Los Angeles. He had nearly 30 years of trial experience and was lead counsel in two dozen high-profile jury cases and complex court trials. His practice concentrated on libel, privacy, false advertising and related First Amendment claims involving publishers, broadcasters, Internet and new media companies. He also represented prominent law firms in defending malpractice claims. Mr. Thomas has lectured extensively on First Amendment issues, negotiation strategy and business torts. He has published articles on class actions, corporate insurance and professional responsibility. He earned his A.B. with honors from Harvard University in 1967 and his J.D. from Stanford University Law School in 1971, where he was a member of the Stanford Law Review.
David D. Watts is an estate planning expert with more than 40 years of experience. He retired as Associate Vice President, Major and Planned Gifts, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution that provides pediatric health care to more than 111,000 children each year. From 1966 to 2001, he was a Partner in the Tax Department, Trusts and Estates Group of O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles. Mr. Watts has prepared numerous charitable remainder trusts, created private foundations and advised charitable institutions. He has also supervised the administration of very large estates and estate planning. Mr. Watts was a Trustee of Rhodes College and the first Chairman of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Board of Regents. He graduated with Distinction from Rhodes College in 1963 and from New York University Law School in 1966.
Michael W. Wilsey is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Wilsey-Bennett, Inc. Mr. Wilsey has served in various roles at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for more than 30 years, including the Board of Trustees and as Chair of the Finance and Building Committees and Vice-Chair of Governance during a transformative time of growth of the museum’s gallery and public spaces, enhanced exhibitions, educational programs and services for the public. Mr. Wilsey served on the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Committee on Acquisitions and helped found and co-chaired the institution’s New Art Council. He also serves on the Director’s Advisory Board of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Mr. Wilsey created the Bobbie and Mike Wilsey Distinguished Lecture series which has brought speakers such as art critic Holland Cotter, scholar William Gerdts and renowned artists Claes Oldenburg, Jaume Plensa and Wayne Thiebaud. He served as a founding Trustee at the Schwab Funds and Schwab Capital Trust. A Fulbright Fellow in Chile, Mr. Wilsey also taught for the Ford Foundation at the Singapore Institute of Management. He holds a B.A. from Notre Dame University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.