After Missing Artworks Crisis, Boston Public Library Names Interim President

The Boston Public Library has new interim leadership.

The BPL's Board of Trustees on Thursday named David Leonard, a library administrator, as its interim president. He takes over for Amy Ryan, who resigned amid a crisis involving valuable artworks that had been missing.

Ryan resigned on June 3. A day later, the pieces — Albrecht Dürer’s 1504 engraving, “Adam and Eve,” and Rembrandt’s 1634 etching, “Self Portrait with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre” — were found. Ryan said the works, together valued at more than $600,000, had been "simply misfiled."

A criminal investigation had been opened into the missing artworks.

The board gave Ryan a standing ovation Thursday. She nominated Leonard to be her replacement.

Daniel Koh, chief of staff for Mayor Marty Walsh, said the mayor approves of Leonard's appointment.

"He's been very, very attentive, he's been detail-orientated, he's been giving us daily updates on what's going on," Koh said of Leonard. Koh said the mayor met with Leonard a few days ago.

The board on Thursday also named John Hailer, CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management, as its new interim chair. The board's former chair, Jeffrey Rudman, also resigned after the missing works revelations.

Hailer is charged with overseeing the search for a permanent president.

Officials at the Boston Public Library are now focusing on increasing efforts to digitize the city landmark's special collections.

With reporting by WBUR's Curt Nickisch

Clarification: An earlier version of this post was unclear on Hailer being named board chair on an interim basis. We regret the lack of clarity.

This article was originally published on June 18, 2015.



More from WBUR

Listen Live