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Metropolitan Museum&#146s Red-Ink 2009 Annual Report, Now Online



Okay, all you museum wonks. It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for—the online debut of the Metropolitan Museum’s annual report for fiscal 2009!

The Report of the Chief Financial Officer, as predicted, showed a whopping $8.4-million operating deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30. Even scarier, the Report from the President and Director mentioned the “likelihood of budget deficits in the range of $20 million-plus a year for years to come unless significant expense reductions occurred.” (Necessary measures have now been taken, including the previously announced 14% staff cut.)

At the end of the above-linked president’s and director’s report is the complete list of those who chose to take the voluntary retirement package offered this year by the Met to expedite staff reductions.

One of my favorite sections, Objects Sold or Exchanged (scroll down), wherein the Met is required to list all objects that it has sold during the previous year for more than $50,000, was commendably boring this time around:

During the past fiscal year, the cash proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned and nonaccessioned works of art were $42,800. No works of art sold were valued in excess of $50,000.

What I don’t understand, though, is that “Proceeds from Sales of Art” on p. 57 of the Financial Statements (under “NON-OPERATING”) totaled $600,000, not the $42,800 mentioned on the bottom of p. 33. I have a question pending with the Met about that, and will update here or in a subsequent post, if and when I learn more. Art purchases totaled $38.92 million, down from $48.93 million the previous year.

Total endowment funds dropped by 26%—from $2.51 billion at the end of fiscal 2008 to $1.86 billion at the end of fiscal 2009.

With the budgetary crisis presumably dealt with, maybe the Met’s trial-by-fire director, Tom Campbell, will finally get a chance to focus more fully on the non-financial functions that had made the position seem so alluring back in early September 2008, when he was named as Philippe de Montebello‘s successor, just before the economy tanked.

While we’re talking high finance, my warm thanks go out to CultureGrrl Donor 88 from Arlington, VA, and CultureGrrl Repeat Donors 89 and 90 from Lansdale, PA and Seattle, for their gifts in anticipation of my Big Birthday.

For the rest of you, there’s still time to ring my “Donate” bell, to help me ring in my next decade. It starts (gulp!) today.

an ArtsJournal blog