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John Coolidge '35, professor of Fine Arts, has been named president of the board of trustees for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The board elected Coolidge, a former director of the Fogg Art Museum, at a meeting last week.
Coolidge said yesterday that his job will entail coordinating the trustees in their policy-making role.
Each trustee, he explained, has an area of expertise--ranging from finance to art--and the work of all trustees must be monitored by the president.
Coolidge said his main interest is the teaching of art history. He has taught several courses at Harvard in conjunction with the museum.
This year Coolidge is teaching two undergraduate courses--Fine Arts 178c, "Modern Architecture: The Growth of Metropolises, 1890 to Present," and Fine Arts 196a, "The Arts in Greater Boston from 1630 to 1820."
The M.F.A. has a special affiliation with the University. As one of the museum's three founding institutions, Harvard appoints one trustee to the museum's board. Coolidge has held that position since 1948.
Looking back on his 25 years on the board of the museum, Coolidge noted how things have changed: "Involvement, no matter how you measure it, has greatly increased. Our membership, for example, has septupled. We are now doing much more for the black and Puerto Rican communities than in the past."
Coolidge said that he is not sure whether the museum can continue to involve more people. "There is some kind of saturation point after which you have to change the kind of activity you engage in," Coolidge said.
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