It is with much sadness that I announce that on November 28 DATMA lost its co-founder, fearless leader, and friend, Roger Mandle.
Roger Mandle was a gardener, a passion tethered to his core belief in optimism. He loved sowing seeds and nurturing them into their full glory. Gardening is a fine metaphor for his life’s philosophy of lovingly nurturing and mentoring all of those around him to reach for their highest potential.
This weekend he passed-on peacefully surrounded by his adoring wife, two children, and his favorite plant, after surviving 7 years with cancer.
Beyond gardening, Roger was an academic leader, educator, art historian, painter, founder and head of major museums, a member of the National Committee for Education Standards in the Arts, and the National Council on the Arts.
Roger had devoted his life of 79 years to arts, culture, and humanities education and helped steer the art and design agenda in this country and internationally over many decades. A graduate of Williams College in 1963, Roger began his expansive career in the arts as a Teaching Fellow at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, before moving to Minneapolis, MN, to become the Associate Director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. His curation of an important Dutch 18th century art exhibition influenced his becoming Director of the Toledo Museum of Art for nearly 15 years. Again, his curation of a major international exhibition of El Greco led to his next role as Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC under J. Carter Brown from 1988 to 1993.