It’s hard not to read the article in the Miami Herald posted yesterday and headlined Board rejects North Miami’s nominee for Museum of Contemporary Art director without either laughing or shaking your head. Here’s why:
The museum’s board of trustees — which has said it wants to move the museum’s collection to Miami Beach’s Bass Museum of Art — said Wednesday it would no longer consider the city of North Miami’s designee for new museum director.
“The Board provided the candidate, Mr. Babacar M’Bow [at right], with a two-week window to participate in a standard background check, which is a required step in evaluating the credentials of candidates for the position,” the museum’s board said in a statement Wednesday. “Despite multiple notifications, Mr. M’Bow did not comply with the background check and is therefore no longer under consideration for the position.
M’Bow said he received an email May 13 asking for his Social Security number and credit report, but because he did not recognize the sender he did not respond. He said that North Miami conducted a background check on him when it appointed him and that the board did not try to contact him beyond the May 13 email.
“They have never interviewed me, they have never called and said, ‘Give me the background information,’ ” M’Bow said. “The board should have just asked the city to transfer the files to them.”
These disputes make the so-called cultured class look silly. Although I would like to see North Miami keep the museum, I really don’t know whether the museum can sustain itself there or not. But it certainly can’t do it without donors — unless the city truly wants to pay for the whole thing, which it does not seem to. So if the city wants to replace the director, it had better also replace the board with new supporters/donors.
Meanwhile, the board should climb down from its current stance and interview M’Bow — or come up with an acceptable candidate to the city. But who take the job now?
Photo Credit: Courtesy of The New York Times