Obituary, William D. Wixom

William D. Wixom, loving father, husband and noted museum curator passed away on November 26, age 91.
Born in Philadelphia to Clinton and Beatrice Wixom, Bill grew up with his siblings, Eleanor and Bob. He attended Germantown Friends School, 1943-47; The Barnes Foundation, 1948-51; Haverford College for his B.A., 1951; and New York University, Institute of Fine Arts for his M.A., 1963.
Bill’s interest in the Arts began in childhood with the encouragement of his parents and teachers, and through exposure to Philadelphia’s many cultural institutions. In college supplementary courses at the Barnes Foundation influenced his choice of art history as a career. In 1957 he became a Student Fellow in the Department of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1958 he moved to the Cleveland Museum of Art as Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts. While working at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Bill met his wife, Nancy Coe. They married in 1959 and had three children Llewelyn, Rachel, and Andrew.
In 1967, Bill became curator of Medieval and Renaissance Decorative Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. During his tenure in Cleveland was responsible for a number of notable acquisitions. He also oversaw important exhibitions, including Gothic Art 1360-1440 (1963), Treasures of Medieval France (1968), and Renaissance Bronzes from Ohio Collections (1975).
Bill returned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1979, as the Chairman of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. While at the Metropolitan Museum, he contributed to a number of ambitious exhibitions, including Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg (1986) and The Glory of Byzantium (1997). His final exhibition before retiring, Mirror of the Medieval World (1999), documented the growth of the Metropolitan’s Medieval collection during his twenty years as Chairman.
After retiring, Bill and Nancy relocated to Pawling, New York, where he remained active writing, lecturing, and consulting. He became a member of The Barnes Foundation Curatorial Advisory Committee and Chairman of the Pawling Community Foundation. Through his life-long dedication to family and the arts and his accomplishments earned through hard work and professionalism, Bill left this world a far better place. Loved dearly by his family, he will be sorely missed. He is survived by his three children, his granddaughters and numerous nieces and nephews.
There are no services at this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill may be made to the Pawling Resource Center, PO Box 331, Pawling, NY 12564.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Horn & Thomes, Inc. Funeral Home, 83 East Main Street, Pawling, NY 12564.

Author: Harlem Valley News