Lewis museum director to leave post next month

February 10, 2006|By CHRIS KALTENBACH | CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN REPORTER

Sandy Bellamy, executive director of Baltimore's seven-month-old Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, is leaving next month to become a partner in a private business venture.

"It's just been totally fulfilling," she said yesterday of her stint as head of the $34 million museum, which opened with great fanfare in June at Pratt and President streets. "We've had wonderful people who have literally entrusted us with their lives' treasures, with financial contributions, with their labor."

Bellamy's departure was announced at Wednesday night's meeting of the museum's board of directors. David Terry, director of collections and exhibitions, will serve as interim director until a permanent replacement can be found.

"We appreciate Sandy's leadership and her museum expertise that has guided us to this point," board Chairman George L. Russell Jr. said in a statement issued yesterday. "She has laid a wonderful foundation for us to build on."

Bellamy, 35, was appointed to the post in April 2004, one year after founding executive director Nikki DeJesus Smith was fired by the board. Bellamy had been named the museum's director of development in February 2000. Before that, she had worked at the Walters Art Museum, New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.

The museum has attracted more than 70,000 visitors since its opening, Bellamy said. It is named for the late Baltimore businessman and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, whose foundation donated $5 million to its construction.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

Sun art critic Glenn McNatt contributed to this article.

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