Peter C. Marzio, who as the director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston for nearly 30 years elevated it to major-museum status through an ambitious program of physical expansion and a commitment to Latin American, Hispanic, and Asian art, died Thursday in Houston. He was 67.
The cause was cancer, Mary Haus, a spokeswoman for the museum, said.
Mr. Marzio became the director of the Houston museum in 1982, after serving as the director and chief executive of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.
He proved to be a dynamic force, equally adept at raising money, attracting important donations, and identifying new artistic territory for the museum to explore in its exhibitions and acquisitions.
Mr. Marzio was intent on diversifying and expanding the museum's commitment to artists outside the European and North American traditions. He created new departments of Asian and Latin American art and established a new research institution, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas.
After serving as a curator of prints and chairman of the cultural history department at the Smithsonian Institution, Mr. Marzio was named the Corcoran's director in 1978. From 1997 to 2000, he was chairman of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
- N.Y. Times News Service