Derrick Cartwright is leaving SAM, he wrote on the museum's blog today.

This comes as a total surprise to me. I don't know what happened. Cartwright's statement says he will take time to refresh his love for art history rather than focusing on institutional administration, which he has been doing for several years, and to be with his family.

In Cartwright's short tenure here, he was very well-respected by artists, pretty much loved by staffers (even though he had to make layoffs due to the WaMu crash's aftermath), and colleagues enjoyed working with him. He arrived in summer 2009, less than two years ago. (Here is what I wrote about him then.)

Was it a board disagreement, then? What does this mean for and about the museum?

Cartwright's statement says he plans to stay in Seattle. The press release say he will remain at the museum through June 30, the end of the fiscal year, and that the board has asked him to remain a consultant to the institution until September 2012. He also says he will give interviews tomorrow morning.