David Franklin (curator)

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David Franklin is an art historian and a former art museum curator and director.

Franklin was named director of the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2010. After a three-year tenure, in which he had been a part of overseeing the largest expansion project in the museum's 97-year history, Franklin resigned on October 21, 2013 citing personal reasons.[1] Numerous published sources later revealed that the married Franklin had been involved in an affair with a subordinate. When this revelation came to the attention of the board, Franklin chose to resign.[2][3]

Previously, Franklin served as deputy director of the National Gallery of Canada.[4] He worked at the National Gallery of Canada for twelve years, beginning as the curator of prints and eventually rising to the post of deputy director and chief curator. While at the National Gallery, Franklin became involved in a controversy involving the firing of a subordinate. His action of completely removing emails, by deleting emails from his system's trash, was seen as a move to remove evidence of wrongful termination. Franklin denied this. He was removed from his post, and after suing the institution, was restored to his position.[5][6]

Franklin holds a PhD from London's Courtauld Institute of Art with specialization in Italian Renaissance art.[4]


Director’s Choice: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Scala, 2012.

Painting in Renaissance Florence from 1500 to 1550, London and New Haven, Yale University Press, 2001.

Rosso in Italy: The Italian Career of Rosso Fiorentino, London and New Haven, Yale University Press, 1994.