Head of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco dies at 58

The director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, John Edward Buchanan Jr., died Friday at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer, according to museum officials.

Buchanan joined the organization, which comprises the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, in 2006 and led the museums to record levels of attendance during his tenure.

“The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco has lost a dynamic, creative leader whose vibrant energy and humor will be missed by everyone,” said Diane Wilsey, president of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco board of trustees.

Before taking the position in San Francisco, Buchanan served as the executive director of the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Ore., for more than 10 years.

He also previously served as the director of Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tenn., and as the executive director of the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences in Peoria, Ill.

At his family's request, donations can be made in Buchanan's memory to the Director's Discretionary Fund at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco by calling (415) 750-3687 or to support the research of Dr. Andrew Ko at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center by calling (415) 502-1899.

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