Obituary of the Day: Thomas M. Messer

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New York Times obituaries editor Bill McDonald joins us every day during the drive to discuss one life featured in the obit page. Today: museum director Thomas M. Messer.

→ From the WNYC Archives: Thomas Messer Interviewed on "Views on Art" (1967)

From the Obituary of Thomas M. Messer

"It was due to Tom’s charm, grace, diplomacy and — and this is a point that none of us should ever forget — his love of great art that Peggy gave her collection and palazzo to the Guggenheim and not to the Tate,” Peter Lawson-Johnston, who was the Guggenheim’s president during Mr. Messer’s directorship, said at a celebration of Mr. Messer’s 90th birthday in 2010. He added: “Here we are, three decades later, with Guggenheims in Bilbao, Berlin, Venice, and soon to be Abu Dhabi. The foundation for all this was laid by Tom Messer. And I can tell you, he laid that foundation under budget.”

-- Read the full obituary.