Bill Fagaly, Longtime NOMA Curator, Dies at 83

Bill Fagaly Ralokhin 0045bNEW ORLEANS – Bill Fagaly – a long-tenured curator, scholar, and author at the New Orleans Museum of Art – died Monday at age 83 of complications from a heart attack. In his five decades at NOMA, Fagaly organized more than 90 exhibitions, ranging from Fabergé to Sister Gertrude Morgan. He spearheaded the establishment and development of the museum’s collection of African art.

An author of more than 100 articles and essays, Fagaly released The Nightcrawler King: Memoirs of an Art Museum Curator in January.

“William A. Fagaly died earlier today after a short illness. An internationally renowned curator of African art and an endlessly curious connoisseur, Bill served with distinction at NOMA for 50 years,” said Susan Taylor, the Montine McDaniel Freeman director of NOMA. “After his retirement in 2016, Bill continued to serve on the boards of several cultural institutions, including Studio in the Woods, Prospect New Orleans, and the Newcomb Art Museum. He also devoted himself to completing his memoir, which details his experiences, friendships, and love of art and artists. Bill will forever be a part of NOMA’s history and the African collection will remain as one of his enduring legacies. A generous friend and colleague, Bill’s presence, joyful and distinctive laugh and love for life will be terribly missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all who knew him.”

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