Schnitzer Museum Director Steps Down

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Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard

David Turner, director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, has resigned his post in the midst of an outside evaluation of museum operations, it was announced Friday.

Turner, 58, will leave his $90,000-a-year job at the end of the year. He will instead continue working for the university as a full-time instructor in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, where he will teach art history and arts administration, he said Friday afternoon.

His resignation comes as a detailed look at museum operations is being conducted by Alceste Pappas, a Connecticut consultant on nonprofit organizations hired by the university to examine the museum.

A similar evaluation by Pappas of the Oregon Bach Festival was followed by last May's announcement that longtime festival executive director and co-founder Royce Saltzman would resign.

In his four-year term as museum director, Turner oversaw the last stages of a $14 million remodeling, which completed the building's long transition from the private study center it had been when first constructed in 1932 to a modern art museum with adequate gallery space, security and climate control.

"I have lived wondrous moments here at the museum, watching it go from a concrete slab in the basement that had just been poured when I got here, to when we completed the building and first filled it with art - and then filled it with people," he said. "That is a rewarding experience to go through."

Among his favorite curatorial accomplishments, Turner cited a large show on photography of the American West that he curated himself and a show of Japanese art prints that the museum mounted under his direction. …