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"Founding Directors"

During my return visit to Texas Mud to photograph Christopher Hart's Monument to Human Presence, DCCD director Joan Davidow was conducting a formal meeting in the gallery, and I over listened as she described the piece as "site specific," which seemed a little absurd, since it could have been plopped down almost anywhere.

I was also fascinated to hear her name herself as the "Founding Director of the Arlington Museum of Art," which was intriguing, because when the AMA was founded, it didn't have a director. I remember her happily announcing her new job as the director of a place we all already knew about, at a long-ago DARE board meeting.

There's a very succinct history of the Arlington Museum of Art online at www.museumsusa.org/data/museums/TX/182985.htm.

I also remember an interview last year with one of the people who actually did found the AMA, who told us that when they started it, they didn't think they'd need a director, as short-sighted as that may now seem.

I mean, what is it about these two narcissistic D-Art directors? Patricia Meadows came along six months into D-Art history, kept it going and made it popular. But that's never been enough for her fragile ego. I've even heard her tell D-Art audiences that she's not "the visionary type," after I first called her on her false claim. Yet press releases from her office continue to name her as "D-Art's founder," when clearly she was not.

Now comes the new D-Art director claiming founding director status for the Arlington Museum of Art, which had established itself well before hiring her, although she was certainly their first and greatest director. Like Meadows, early in D-Art's history, she gave the AMA life and direction and power. She found it early in the game, of course. But she didn't found the institution.