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MoMA Announces Elderfield’s Replacement…but only to the NY Times

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Get-It-First Vogel

That does it. I’ve really had it with selective disclosure of important breaking news by cultural institutions. (So has distinguished architecture critic Martin Filler, who previously vented his frustration on CultureGrrl, here.)

I’ve known major mainstream-media cultural journalists who have boycotted important stories that were spoonfed to the NY Times first and withheld from the peons until later. I also understand that bloggers are lower in the pecking order than major publications. I (very grudgingly) accept that.

But when Carol Vogel this afternoon broke the important announcement of the successor to John Elderfield as the Museum of Modern Art’s chief curator of painting and sculpture, I called the press office and meekly requested the press release and a photo. I was told that the announcement was not going to be made until tomorrow.

“The announcement was already made TODAY in the New York Times. It’s on their website!” I protested.

“A press release will be sent out at 6 a.m tomorrow,” was the final reply.

Trust me, CultureGrrl will not be setting her alarm clock. What’s more, she is going to pout, sulk, throw a tantrum and turn her computer monitor to the wall. Sour grapes? No, journalistic principle. I admire Ann. I think she’s a solid choice. My beef is not with her but with this misguided attempt to restrict press coverage and play favorites.

End of story.

an ArtsJournal blog