Edmund P. "Ted" Pillsbury, Dallas, former director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth who was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts from UNT in 1996, died March 25. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art history from Yale and a doctorate from the University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art.
A specialist in Italian Renaissance art, he was the founding director of the Yale Center for British Art. He led the Kimbell to recognition as one of the nation’s outstanding small art museums as its director from 1980 to 1998, adding European masterworks to the collection and mounting major exhibitions. Pillsbury was a partner and CEO in Pillsbury and Peters Fine Art in Dallas, directed the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University from 2003 to 2005 and went on to chair the fine arts department of Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. He also was a consultant to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas.
He was a longtime supporter of the arts at UNT, serving as a member of the advisory board for the College of Visual Arts and Design since the board’s inception in 1992 and collaborating with the UNT-based North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts.