Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi resigns to lead new museum in Chicago

Don Bacigalupi

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced Monday that Don Bacigalupi, museum president and board member, is leaving to accept an appointment as founding president for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a new museum set to open in 2018 in Chicago.

Bacigalupi’s last day will be Jan. 14, according to a news release. He will retain his role as a member of the museum’s board.

Bacigalupi joined Crystal Bridges as executive director in 2009 after working for six years as president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. He was promoted to president of Crystal Bridges in 2013.

“Leading Crystal Bridges through its construction, opening and early years has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and honor,” said Bacigalupi. “I am so proud to have worked with such an incredibly passionate and capable team–of staff, board, and volunteers–to achieve such extraordinary successes. I often say that we’ve made a good start at Crystal Bridges, and I look forward to the great momentum continuing. I’ll be a lifelong friend and fan.”

Alice Walton, museum founder and board chair, said many of the museum’s successes are attributable to Bacigalupi’s guidance leading up to the opening of the museum and into the following three years.

“(Bacigalupi) came on board when the museum was in its early stages, guiding our direction through the building phase and helping to shape the development and exhibition of our art collection,” said Walton. “His expertise in overseeing the launch of new institutions makes him an ideal leader for the Lucas Museum, and we’ll be applauding his accomplishments. We are pleased that he will retain his connection to Crystal Bridges as a member of our board.”