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A Peek Behind the Curtain of the Dallas Art Scene

Revisiting the sudden departure of a top Dallas Museum of Art curator.
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c/o Dallas Museum of Art

Almost five years ago, Gavin Delahunty abruptly resigned from his position as Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. He had been a high-profile hire for the museum, coming directly from the Tate Liverpool, and had immediately started to ascend to the top of the city’s art scene.

Then, in late November 2017, ARTNews published an editorial by the New York-based painter Natalie Frank. In the piece, titled “For Women Artists, the Art World Can Be a Minefield,” she mentioned “a curator from a powerful institution” and described a pass the unnamed curator made at her. Five days later, Delahunty resigned from the DMA; he wrote the statement announcing his departure himself.

Since then, Delahunty has been quietly working for some of the city’s top art patrons. But no one has reported on the circumstances in which he left the DMA and what he has been up to since. Writer Lauren Smart—who has covered the art world in Dallas for years—had heard the rumors that another institution, the Dallas Contemporary, planned to bring Delahunty on board and started looking into it.

We published the result in our August issue. It’s now online. Beyond Delahunty’s involvement, it provides a glimpse into corners of the art world only a few get to see.


Zac Crain

Zac Crain

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Zac, senior editor of D Magazine, has written about the explosion in West, Texas; legendary country singer Charley Pride; Tony…

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