5 things to know about new Gardner Museum director Peggy Fogelman

Five things to know about Peggy Fogelman, who becomes the next director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, starting in January:

1. Her first acquisition as a curator? “Boy With a Dragon,” by Pietro Bernini and Gian Lorenzo Bernini for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

“All of a sudden I realized that I have to make people fall in love with this object. It was not an insignificant price, and citing the latest research on provenance is not going to do it,” she said. “That really got me thinking about how people who are not steeped in art history and who just talk to art historians think about this. This art was not just made for art historians. It was contemporary art in its time, and it has a lot to say about its time and a lot to say about our time.”


2. She’s not above sharing photos of her beloved dogs, Pucho and Sunny.

“They’re rescue dogs from Puerto Rico,” she said. “I can give a plug for Buddy Dog shelter in Waltham, where they got them both. They have a partnership with Save a Sato foundation, and they bring dogs over here for adoption.”

3. Favorite thing to do when she’s not working? Hiking.

“I’m a big hiker, since my California days. When we were in Boston [Fogleman worked at the Peabody Essex Museum in 2007-09] we went to the [Middlesex] Fells [Reservation] every weekend with the dogs.”

4. Favorite music? African.

“I was exposed to it when I was out in LA. It was not so common on the East Coast, but Los Angeles in the late ’80s, early ’90s was a real hotbed for African and reggae and world beat before it became a sort of standardized category of music.”

5. When she first began working in Los Angeles (Fogelman worked at the Getty in 1987-2007), she took a host of art classes — ceramics, photography, sculpture, and others — at a local community college.


“It’s not because I thought I was going to be the next artist at Miami Basel. I felt a responsibility as someone who studied art, and talked about art, and loved art to understand what it’s like to create art in those mediums,” she said. “I wouldn’t quit my day job.”

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Malcolm Gay can be reached at malcolm.gay@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @malcolmgay.