American succeeded in Royal Academy post

April 12, 2005 at 2:18 PM

LONDON, April 12 (UPI) -- Mary-Anne Stevens, formerly senior curator of the Royal Academy of Arts, was named acting secretary and chairman of the institution's executive committee.

Stevens succeeds American Lawton Fitt, one of several top executives whose resignation was announced by the Royal Academy in the past year as the result of executive in-fighting and disagreements.

A spokesman for the academy said it hopes by summer to appoint a permanent secretary, who would be the chief administrator, after a review of governance of the institution. Stevens has worked closely with Norman Rosenthal, the academy's exhibitions secretary.

Although a British institution, the Royal Academy has had a history of American associations. One of its founders in 1768 was Pennsylvania-born Benjamin West who became its president in 1792, succeeding Sir Joshua Reynolds.

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