Roger Mandle, a Prolific Museum Director, Dies at 79

When the cellist Yo-Yo Ma necessary a new headquarters for his Silk Highway Challenge in 2005, Roger Mandle, then president of the Rhode Island Faculty of Style, gave the group a household on his campus.

When a member of Qatar’s royal family was looking to make her region into an artwork destination in 2008, Mr. Mandle took on the development of more than a dozen museums in Doha.

And when some in 2016 questioned the quixotic mother nature of a commence-up art museum in New Bedford, Mass., Mr. Mandle persevered and — together with his wife, Gayle Wells Mandle — succeeded in developing the Massachusetts Style and design Art & Know-how Institute.

Mr. Mandle died on Nov. 28 at his house in Dartmouth, Mass. He was 79. Ms. Mandle, a blended-media painter, stated the cause was most cancers.

“Roger Mandle had the soul of an artist, the character of a gentleman and the wisdom of a statesman,” Mr. Ma reported in an interview.

Mr. Mandle served as government director and main officer of museums at the Qatar Museums Authority, overseeing the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar, amongst other individuals, from 2008 to 2012.

Functioning carefully with Sheikha al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, then the most important purchaser in the artwork marketplace, Mr. Mandle arranged the building of various museums, like the National Museum of Qatar, made by the Pritzker Prize-profitable architect Jean Nouvel.

Mr. Mandle also individually oversaw main installations in Qatar with artists such as Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra and Takashi Murakami.

“He aided create a highway map for the development of the Qatari art program,” claimed Edward Dolman, the chief government of the Phillips auction property, who spent a few yrs as the director of the sheikha’s office environment and also served as the acting chief govt of Qatar Museums.

“The fantastic point about Qatar at that time,” Mr. Dolman claimed, “was you could experiment, and there was lots of communicate about the role of museums.”

Earl Roger Mandle was born on Could 13, 1941, in Hackensack, N.J., to Phyllis Vital Oberg Mandle, who labored in clothing structure, and Earl Simmons Mandle, a graphic designer who went into the family meat small business.

He commenced out seeking to be an artist and majored in portray at Williams University. He switched to art historical past and museum reports even though earning his master’s degree in 1967 at New York University’s Institute of Good Arts.

Mr. Mandle grew to become an specialist in 18th-century Dutch portray and, as associate director of the Minneapolis Institute of Artwork, structured an critical exhibition on the matter.

That clearly show attained him the awareness of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, exactly where he spent about 15 a long time, initially as associate director and then as director. He organized a main exhibition of El Greco, the 16th-century Spanish artist, that drew file crowds in 1982 and that, The New York Situations claimed at the time, was “recognized as the most significant exhibition on that artist ever assembled.”

That demonstrate in change prompted J. Carter Brown, then director of the Nationwide Gallery of Art in Washington, to make Mr. Mandle his deputy and main curator. He worked at the Nationwide Gallery from 1988 to 1993.

During that time period, Mr. Mandle also served as a member of the Nationwide Council on the Arts underneath Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, supporting shape U.S. artwork and layout plan.

Mr. Mandle grew to become president of the Rhode Island University of Structure in Providence in 1993. Over 15 several years he quadrupled the school’s endowment to $400 million and oversaw the creation of a museum created by a further Pritzker Prize–winning architect, Rafael Moneo.

When presiding in excess of the Rhode Island University, Mr. Mandle wrote his dissertation at night time on 18th-century Dutch art. He gained a Ph.D. in 2002 from Case Western Reserve University, even as he remained accessible to college students.

“He in no way skipped an chance to fulfill with learners irrespective of his fast paced program,” mentioned a person entry on a internet site designed in his honor. “They adored him.”

Joe Gebbia, a founder of Airbnb and a Rhode Island University of Style and design alumnus, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Mandle “was an early supporter of my entrepreneurial pursuits on campus.”

Just after Mr. Mandle returned from Qatar to the Rhode Island space, he served on various boards, like those people of the American Association of Museums, the Williams University Museum of Art, the Clark Art Museum and Silk Street.

The structure institute he and his spouse launched has been ready to proceed presenting free of charge contemporary artwork exhibitions, performances and educational programs in many outdoor spots.

In addition to his spouse, whom he married in 1964, Mr. Mandle is survived by a son, Luke a daughter, Julia Mandle a sister, Julia Kiechel and 5 grandchildren.

Mr. Mandle’s other great passions were gardening and poetry. He frequently merged them.

The spouse and children, in a assertion, named gardening “a fantastic metaphor for his life’s philosophy of lovingly nurturing and mentoring all of those about him to get to for their best probable.”

In a single poem, he wrote:

On the again of my neck I really feel warmth now, coming
Spring time to until it all less than. Completely ready the ground
For the upcoming spherical: devil’s tongue, iceberg, arugula!
The throb of the tractor’s hub, the shovel’s schlump —
I stab at the dirt, turning out the final of the chill.