Art journalism’s loss is museum giving’s gain. Robert L. Pincus, formerly the art critic of The San Diego Union and The San Diego Union-Tribune, was appointed yesterday as the new Senior Institutional Giving Manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). In June of last year, Pincus was laid off from his post as a critic, which he had held for 25 years, resulting in vociferous public complaint and a Facebook page and blog advocating for his reinstatement.
“Bob is a respected colleague with a rare intelligence and depth of experience in contemporary art and cultural institutions,” said MCASD Director Hugh M. Davies. “His unique talents, which go far beyond writing to encompass an unparalleled understanding of how museums, foundations and its publics function together, will bring a unique perspective to MCASD’s advancement efforts.”
Indeed, Pincus regularly reported on developments at MCASD, and his last column for the Union-Tribune was about artist James Enos, whose work was included in the museum’s group show, “Here Not There: San Diego Art Now,” which he had covered in full earlier that month.
Pincus also has to his credit the 1990 book On a Scale that Competes with the World: The Art of Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, as well as numerous exhibition catalogue essays and magazine articles (he has contributed reviews and feature articles to Art in America, among others).
Pincus will focus on fundraising and grant writing, securing support from various institutional funders, including government agencies and private foundations. His first day on the job is January 31, after which one should raise the bar on the quality of writing in application statements.