Buffalo, NY – Thomas R. Hyde has been elected President of the Board of Directors of The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, governing body of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The election took place at a board meeting this evening following the Academy’s annual meeting of its membership.
Following the election, Hyde commented, “I am delighted to take on the role of Board President at this historic institution, and I am very much looking forward to working with the director and staff, my colleagues on our board, and indeed the entire community for the continued growth and development of the Albright-Knox. We have some challenges ahead as we look to stabilize our annual operating budget and repair our aging buildings so that we can continue to be a beacon for the region locally, nationally, and internationally.”
Hyde succeeds Leslie H. Zemsky, who is retiring as Board President after four years of devoted service. Zemsky became the first female president of the Academy’s board in 2009. During her tenure, she worked with the entire board and former Albright-Knox Director Louis Grachos on developing the museum and its Collection, not only as a world-renowned venue and a magnet for Buffalo Niagara tourism and economic growth, but also as a vital community resource for educational, artistic, and creative experiences. She also oversaw the hiring of the Albright-Knox’s eleventh director, Dr. Janne Sirén, following Grachos’s departure at the end of 2012. Zemsky will remain an active member of the Academy’s Board of Directors.
Sirén noted, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with such an inspirational leader as Leslie who is a beacon of excellence in various fields in Western New York and far beyond. At the same time I couldn’t be more delighted at Tom’s appointment following Leslie’s retirement from the presidency of our board. Tom is an outstanding scholar and an ardent supporter of the Albright-Knox and its work, and I am looking forward to working closely with him on the next phase of growth for this fantastic museum.”
Hyde is a partner in Hodgson Russ LLP, Buffalo’s oldest and largest law firm, where he is a member of the firm’s Estates and Trusts Practice Group, Canada Practice Group, and Nonprofit Practice Group. Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he did his undergraduate work at Princeton University and went on to the University of Oxford before earning a PhD from Yale University in 1978 (where he specialized in English Renaissance literature) and a JD from Yale Law School in 1992. He has lived in Buffalo with his wife Martha since 1991 and has taught at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, including a course at the University at Buffalo entitled Legal Issues in Arts Management. Hyde has published several books and articles. In addition to his service on The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy’s Board of Directors, he has been involved in several nonprofit organizations in the Buffalo area, including a term as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.