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Smithsonian picks new US Portrait Gallery chief

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Photo -   This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery shows the gallery's new director Kim Sajet. Sajet, the president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, is being named to the post Tuesday to oversee a collection that includes famous images of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and other prominent figures in American history. (AP Photo/W Concannon, National Portrait Gallery)
This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery shows the gallery's new director Kim Sajet. Sajet, the president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, is being named to the post Tuesday to oversee a collection that includes famous images of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and other prominent figures in American history. (AP Photo/W Concannon, National Portrait Gallery)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian Institution is appointing a leading Philadelphia museum executive as the new director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

Kim Sajet (Sayet), the president and CEO of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, was named to the post Tuesday. Beginning April 1, she will oversee a collection of 21,000 objects, including famous images of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and other prominent figures in American history.

In Philadelphia, Sajet previously was deputy director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the nation's oldest art museum and school. She played a lead role in the purchase of Thomas Eakins' painting "The Gross Clinic" for a record $68 million to keep the artwork from leaving the city.

Sajet was born in Nigeria, raised in Australia and it a citizen of the Netherlands.

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