Director of the National Gallery of Scotland, 1952-1970. Baxandall's father was the scientific historian David Baxandall (1874-1938). The younger David Baxandall joined the National Museum of Wales in 1929 as an assistant keeper (curator). The National Museum was a modest institution where Baxandall had difficulties convincing the Trustees to accept even a watercolor by the Welsh artist David Jones. In Cardiff he met and married Isobel Thomas, daughter of a Welsh rectory, in 1931. He advanced to Keeper in 1939.