Spiral Logarithms


Airdate: August 29, 2018

John Boyer is president and CEO of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, a museum dedicated to the exhibition of the Bechtler family collection of mid-20th century modern art. During his tenure, John has also served as curator of the museum overseeing the design and installation of 20 different exhibitions, including shows on Alberto Giacometti, Niki de Saint Phalle and Mario Botta. Previously, John served as president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, a public policy agency, and as executive director of the Mark Twain House. He taught art history at Trinity College in Connecticut and lectured at Columbia and Brown Universities. John is also the Independent Chair of the board of the Voya Mutual Funds family. He earned a B.A. in art history from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.F.A. in art history from Princeton University.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in leading a museum, defining modern art, fine arts and finance, and art as a means to connect to a higher form of our lives.


  • John shares what is important about the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and what he is thinking about as leader of the institution.

  • He addresses the state of curation at the Bechtler Museum and the curatorial challenge of explaining modern art.

  • He identifies the particular work of art at the Bechtler Museum that profoundly interests him.

  • John reflects on his California roots and what California means to him.

  • He shares what his thesis work explored at Princeton University and remembers teaching art history at Trinity College.

  • John recalls being a steward of the Mark Twain legacy and explains what Mark Twain and modern art have in common.

  • He talks about serving as chair of the board of the Voya family of mutual funds and his work in modern art and finance inform each other.

  • John reveals what true art is to him and his true art.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: Wrestling the Angel

To Learn More About John


  • What struck you about John's comments?

  • What is Modernism to you?

  • What work of art profoundly interests you?

  • What is your true art?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts; 

And by Foundation For The Carolinas, inspiring philanthropy and empowering individuals to create a better community.

Further support is provided by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All;

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community; 

And the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.