David M. Rubenstein Becomes National Gallery of Art Trustee

WASHINGTON, DC—On July 1, 2015, David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, will become a trustee of the National Gallery of Art, while Victoria Sant will become trustee emerita after 15 years of service on the board, 12 of them also as Gallery president. Rubenstein was appointed for a term of ten years.

“On behalf of the trustees, it is my great pleasure to welcome David Rubenstein to the Board as the Gallery prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary year and the reopening of its East Building in 2016,” said Frederick W. Beinecke, Gallery president. “We will continue to seek the wise counsel and support of Vicki Sant, who has been the Gallery’s tireless champion for decades.”

Rubenstein has been involved with the National Gallery of Art since 2005, when he made a substantial gift toward scholarly publications and curatorial fellowships. In 2012, he made a $10 million donation toward the construction of exhibition space in two of the East Building towers and a sculpture terrace between them that will open in the fall of 2016. Previously, he and his wife, Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, were Patron Members of The Circle of the National Gallery of Art. 

A native of Baltimore, Rubenstein is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then graduated in 1973 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison from 1973 to 1975 and served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments from 1975 to 1976. During the Carter administration, Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy from 1977 to 1981. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle in 1987, he practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman). 

Rubenstein is chairman of the boards of trustees of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Duke University, a regent of the Smithsonian Institution, co-chair of the Brookings Institution, vice-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations, and president of the Economic Club of Washington. He is also on the boards of Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Institute for Advanced Study, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

During Sant’s tenure, the Gallery acquired some 36,000 works of art (including 6,430 works to date from the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art), presented 200 exhibitions, constructed a new suite of sculpture galleries in the West Building, and made extensive repairs and renovations to the East Building. Through the years, Victoria Sant and her husband, Roger Sant, have made substantial contributions to the Gallery, among them a $10 million gift toward the new East Building tower galleries and sculpture terrace—joining two other $10 million donations, one from David Rubenstein, mentioned above, and another from Gallery trustee Mitchell Rales and his wife, Emily Rales. The Sants have also supported educational programs and contributed to the acquisition of numerous works of art, including Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg’s painting View of the Cloaca Maxima, Rome (1814), Richard Parks Bonington’s painting The Grand Canal (1826/1827), Alexandre Calame’s oil on paper on canvas Swiss Landscape (c. 1830), Henri Matisse’s bronze Figure décorative (1908), Joaquín Torres-García’s painting Untitled Composition (1929), a collection of working proofs and drawings by Jasper Johns, Leo Villareal’s LED sculpture Multiverse (2008) installed along the moving walkway of the Concourse, and Roxy Paine’s stainless steel and concrete commission Graft (2008-2009) in the Sculpture Garden.

As of July 2015, the National Gallery of Art Board of Trustees will comprise ex officio the Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr., Secretary of State John F. Kerry; Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew; and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution David J. Skorton; and private members Frederick M. Beinecke, president of the National Gallery of Art; Sharon Percy Rockefeller, chairman; Mitchell P. Rales, David M. Rubenstein, and Andrew Saul. The director of the Gallery is Earl A. Powell III.

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