Colin Bailey

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For other uses, see Colin Bailey (drummer).
Colin B. Bailey
Nationality British
Occupation Museum director
Organization Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Colin B. Bailey will soon be the director of the Morgan Library & Museum.[1] As of 2015 April, he is the Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and oversees both the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor.[2] He became the Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in June 2013; he had held a variety of curatorial posts previously, including serving as Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at The Frick Collection in New York.[2] Bailey is a specialist in 18th and 19th century French art, especially that of Pierre-August Renoir,[2] and has authored eight books on the era.[2] One of his books, Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris, was awarded the Mitchell Prize for best art history book of 2002-2003.[2]

Bailey's appointment as Director of the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco has been suggested to represent a scholarly shift for the city-owned museums, one likely to represent an increased focus on curatorial freedom, quality of collections, and online presence.[3]


Bailey enrolled in Oxford University in history, eventually changing to art history, and eventually receiving a doctorate of philosophy in art history from Oxford.[4] He was awarded a fellowship to the Getty Museum's paintings department in 1983 that he found so significant that he decided to pursue museum work instead of academic work.[3] He later went on to enroll in Columbia University's Center for Curatorial Leadership, which Bailey credits with shifting his aspirations from the curatorial to the directorial.[4] The Center exposed him to his first formal training in management techniques, and exposed him to the idea that active curators with skills in management, finance, strategy, and diplomacy could play important roles in the future of their institutions.[4] Near the end of his program at the center, Bailey held at a residency at the Louvre, closely observing its director, Henri Loyrette.[4] Bailey credits his experiences at Columbia's Center of Curatorial Leadership with his decision to change career paths towards a directorial one, especially his experiences in shadowing Loyrette.[4]

Pre-FAMSF Career[edit]

Before Bailey's tenure at the FAMSF, he served in a variety of curatorial positions across the world, most notably as Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at The Frick Collection in New York,[2] as well as deputy director of the National Gallery of Canada, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.[5]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Colin B. Bailey Named Director of the Morgan Library & Museum" (PDF). Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Director Colin B. Bailey". FAMSf. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Morse, Trent (13 June 2013). "Bringing up Bailey: New Chief at FAMSF". Art News. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Baker, Kenneth (25 June 2013). "Colin Bailey ready to lead Fine Arts Museums". SF Chronicle. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  5. ^ West, Stephen (27 March 2013). "S.F. Museums Tap Colin Bailey, Frick No. 2, as New Chief". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 March 2014.