Everett Fahy, Director Emeritus of The Frick Collection and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, shares the legacy of the father and son painters, the Lehmans.
Everett Fahy was the Frick Collection Director, 1973-1986 and John Pope-Hennessy Chair of the department of European paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986-2009. Fahy was raised in Philadelphia, PA. While and undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Fahy met his future chair namesake, Sir John Pope-Hennessy in North Carolina. After graduation in 1962 he traveled to Europe where Pope-Hennessy suggested he study Ghirlandio. Fahy entered Harvard for his graduate work, studying under Sydney J. Freedberg and Federico Zeri. He received the National Gallery of Art's David H. Finley fellowship in 1964, named for the Museum's first director, David Finley allowing him travel in Europe. In Italy, armed with a Villa I Tatti Fellowship, he used the great library of Bernard Berenson, still administrated by Berenson's secretary/mistress, Elisabetta "Nicky" Mariano (1887-1968). He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1968 writing on Ghirlandio's followers under James Ackerman. Fahy was a member of the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton. He was appointed a consultant to the Department of European Paintings in 1968, followed by a teaching appointment to New York University's Institute of Fine Arts in 1969 (through 1976). He joined the Museum as curator-in-charge in 1970. At the Metropolitan Fahy was charged with reinstalling the paintings collection--which entailed relabling the collection to conform to the reattributions by scholars such as Zeri. He also mounted the successful 1969 exhibition on Italian frescos. While curator of painting, director Thomas Hoving and curator of European Art Ted Rousseau authorized the sale of two paintings, van Gogh and a Dounier Rousseau paintings to a private dealer, austensibly without his knowledge, in 1971. Fahy resigned from the Met in 1973 to head the Frick Collection, New York, as the death of Harry Grier. At the Frick, Fahy oversaw the expansion of the museum and spearheaded the Museum's brand of small but highly scholarly exhibitions. In 1986, after the replacement of Hoving, he returned to the Metropolitan as the Chair of European Paintings, succeeding Pope-Hennessy. Fahy was succeeded at the Frick by Charles Ryskamp. He remained at the Met as Chair until his retirement in 2009, succeeded by Keith Christiansen.
Everett Fahy, chairman emeritus of the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, faults former head of Lehman Brothers Robert Lehman for blindly collecting paintings from the School of Paris.