A Voice for the Arts, and Social Justice, joins the Board of the National Gallery of Art

By Philip Kennicott
Darren Walker at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit in 2015. Walker was named a member of the National Gallery of Art board in September. (Daphne Doerr/Ford Foundation)
Late in 2014, the city of Detroit emerged from a bankruptcy that had threatened to destroy what little was left of its social bonds.A “grand bargain” mediated by a U.S. District Court judge saved the city, including most of the promised pensions and all of the museum’s art. Central to making that grand bargain work was Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. In the five years since that crisis, Walker has emerged as one of the country’s preeminent voices for the arts, and social justice, and for new strategies to ameliorate inequality. And in September, the National Gallery of Art announced that Walker would be joining its board, one of the smallest and most exclusive governing bodies in the art world, with only nine members, four of them ex officio positions, including the chief justice of the United States and the secretaries of the Treasury and State departments. [More]

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