Divorce: Dallas museum director Maxwell Anderson and the flamboyant Jacqueline Buckingham

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Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson photographed for FD Luxe in 2012 by Maxine Helfman

The studied Dallas Museum of Art director Maxwell Anderson and his famously flashy wife, Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson, have announced their divorce via Facebook. D Magazine‘s Frontburner blog broke the news this morning. FD Luxe talked to Buckingham — her Facebook post uses only her maiden name — this morning via phone; she agreed to offer insight later today.

FD Luxe profiled Buckingham last April. She was a 19-year-old college student at Emory University in Atlanta when she met Anderson, then 38, who was the director of the school’s Michael C. Carlos Museum. “He wanted to immediately meet my family and was talking about getting married after a month and a half.” One of the couple’s first dates was to an art-related event at the White House, where Jackie had no insecurities about meeting Hillary Clinton. “I don’t think I’ve ever been intimidated to talk to anyone. People are people.”

As Anderson’s star in the art world rose, Buckingham managed to shine just as brightly at his side with her outrageous, form-fitting gowns (bordering on costumes) and model-worthy looks. But Buckingham never got completely used to being the museum director’s wife. She eventually grew weary of the cocktail soirees, charity galas and dinner parties and told us in 2012: “It’s not center-stage in my life. It’s something that I do, most of the time, to support what my husband is doing. Other than that, it’s not what I live to do. If I weren’t married to him, I wouldn’t be doing it.”

For his part, Anderson seemed to take his wife’s high-wattage persona in stride, telling W magazine in 2003: “She’s always been, since she was very young, eager to define a realm for herself and not be in lockstep with what’s approved. And one of her many charms is her innate sense of how to mix things up and stir things up. She enjoys making a gesture that’s unanticipated.”

We may never know why the divorce. It’s no one’s business but Anderson’s and Buckingham’s. But a clue to her vehement independence lies in something Buckingham told us last year when we asked if Anderson ever chided her for her flashy clothes and persona: “Oh, no. That does not compute. Does not compute. There’s no faster way of getting me to run the other direction than telling me what to do.”

Read the FD Luxe profile on Jacqueline Buckingham.

UPDATE: 4:40 p.m. Jacqueline Buckingham responds via email:

Regarding announcing their divorce news on Facebook: “Divorce in our culture usually connotes failure and shame, and I believe it to be a worthy mission to disavow that negativity. When something like this happens, generally, people don’t know how to react — in sharing our news together, we sought to communicate clearly with the people in our lives. We are parents of a 6 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, who are affected by this change, and it is of great importance for us to lead by example in continuing our family legacy — being truthful and bringing positivity into the world.”

Will she remain in Dallas or relocate with the couple’s two children: “I happily call Dallas my home!”

On public reaction to news of the high-profile couple’s divorce and Buckingham’s future plans: “On behalf of our family, we are truly grateful to our dear friends, extended family and valued colleagues for all of the kind words and support. Being a mother to our two children has been and will always be my greatest honor and life’s work. I have raised them to be honest and truthful with themselves, and being an example of this is of ultimate importance to me. Having gone through this process together in an open and honest way, but privately as a couple, has strengthened us as a family. This process, and the eternal bonds we have together, no matter the legal status we have, are what have inspired my book. It is my intention to share this “Separating into Wholeness” approach with others to offer a positive way to deal with any change in relationships. We have walked this path together and can continue to accept, welcome and even celebrate change in our family. We continue to live our lives with core values of truth, respect, equality and kindness.”

After that last sentence, Buckingham adds“For more follow me on twitter @jacquelineusa. xox Jacqueline

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12 Comments

  1. “There’s no faster way of getting me to run the other direction than telling me what to do.”

    I’m sure her future employers would be happy to hear that. Just what organizations want…Someone who won’t take instruction. I have know a few like

    that along the way, and the results have usually been the same.

  2. This golddigger will never have to worry about future employers. She will gouge Maxwell Anderson for more than enough money than she’ll need to live on. She may not be originallty from Dallas, but she no doubt has learned very well how the whole thing works here.

  3. How shocking.

    This is the kind of woman who renames herself Brynn or something else suitable for the Bravo Network.

  4. I continue to be a fan of both Jacqueline and Max and think they have handled the news as public figures in a nice way.

  5. The erudite Maxwell Anderson is very much missed In Indianapolis. Additionally, we all think Maxwell Anderson is suave and debonair to the nth degree. Dallas, you are lucky to have this learned man in your midst.
    BTW Maxwell also strikingly resembles my copain Geoffrey Bannister when Geoffrey was a younger man.

  6. I want to know this woman and read her book now more than ever! What a splendid, mature way to handle a major life change!

  7. Obviously a woman who poses like this and her top priority is “flashy clothes” is dedicated to being a good wife and mother. So glad she has her priorities straight and that the DMN shines the spotlight on this sterling role model.

  8. Is everyone entitled to have their own unique style and personality? While I may certainly disagree with her choice of clothing or occupation, it is apparent that this woman could serve as a role model for other women facing changing circumstances and life changes with regard to marriage. What a breath of fresh air to hear such a progressive, evolved and rational thinking- as opposed to the emotion-driven battles which drag the children through the details of the marital issues, pressuring them to take sides and causing so much unnecessary pain and anguish. I wish more Dallas women would react this way.

  9. Pingback: Remarried: Dallas museum director Maxwell Anderson and the flamboyant Jacqueline Buckingham : FDLuxe

  10. I love this approach to divorce. Absolutely dig the maturity and honesty shared.