Former Kimbell director killed himself, family says

The death of Edmund "Ted" Pillsbury, a former longtime director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, was a suicide, according to his family.

His family confirmed the cause of death in a statement Monday night released through Heritage Auction Galleries, where Pillsbury had worked for the last five years.

"This is a complete shock to us, as we had been told that it was an apparent heart attack," Gregory Rohan, president of Heritage Auction Galleries, said in the statement.

Pillsbury, 66, died March 25 in Kaufman County, east of Dallas.

A spokeswoman for the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Pillsbury headed the Kimbell for nearly 18 years from 1980 to 1998.

He embarked on an aggressive acquisition campaign that elevated the Kimbell to a world-class museum.

Under his guidance, it acquired such major works as Jacques-Louis David's The Anger of Achilles, Diego Velazquez's Don Pedro de Barberana, Georges de la Tour's The Cheat With the Ace of Clubs and Caravaggio's The Cardsharps.

ALEX BRANCH, 817-390-7689

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram