David Franklin, New Director of Cleveland Museum of Art, Loves Hockey



David Franklin, displaying his teeth.
  • David Franklin, displaying his teeth.

David Franklin, the internationally respected scholar of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, who was named the next director of the Cleveland Museum of Art last week, still has all his teeth.

This is noteworthy because the 49 year-old native of Toronto has played hockey ever since he was a youngster. He still plays in an adult pick-up league there.

As a youth, he says, “I was a reasonably good goalie, and there was some possibility of getting on a more professional track.” But in his teens, his father steered him down a more intellectual path — in part by suggesting that he play defense, where he wasn’t nearly as good.

He kept at it, even if it wasn’t to become a career. In addition to playing in a league made up “mostly of lawyers and civil servants — fortysomething men who can’t give up their youth” — he and his staff held lunchtime games at a rink a block away from the National Gallery of Canada, where he is leaving his post as deputy director.

“We would book ice at lunch, clean it ourselves, bring the nets, and it was open to all — men, women. It was supposedly non-contact, but that crept in, sometimes by accident.”

As for escaping unblemished after all these years? “I seem to have a very good radar for danger. In my league last year I think I was the only player to emerge unscathed.”

Franklin hopes to find some local action when he arrives for good later this month. He welcomes your recommendations for all lawyer-heavy hockey leagues that welcome female players.

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