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Brace For More Bad News From The Metropolitan Museum

It’s coming–possibly Wednesday or Thursday of this week, though I doubt there will be any “announcement.” Rather, employees will learn of the museum’s financial outlook at a town hall meeting in the museum. I don’t have any numbers, but the gist of the message coming from management–Director Tom Campbell and President Dan Weiss–will be that […]

New Year, New Format? Some News!

For some two years now, I’ve been finding it hard to find time to blog here. But I still hear of items of interest to the art world that go little remarked, and I notice other things, announced, that should be remarked on. It is at times like those that I wish there was a […]

Met Layoffs Today: About Three Dozen People Were Let Go

Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art* shed more staff–in the form of involuntary layoffs. As we’ve known for a while, the Met’s financial position has deteriorated: its operating deficit has been placed at anywhere from $10 million to $40 million, depending on various scenarios. I’ve even heard, from informed sources, that it could be larger. […]

The Fisher Folly: SFMoMA’s Bad Deal

We’ve never known exactly the details of the deal that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art made in 2009 with the Fisher family to get its collection (better described, actually, as access to the family’s collection–at first for 25 years and later changed to 100 years). And we still don’t. But an article by […]

Met Layoffs: “Nobody is Ruled Out”

My Friday post about staff shrinkage, from buyouts, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art* set off quite a stir: Emergency meetings were held inside the museum to discuss what was going on and the press office ramped up to get information and interview opportunities to various news outlets with Daniel Weiss (pictured), the Met’s president, […]

More Major Met Museum Departures–And More Woes

The exodus, and the troubles, continue at 1000 Fifth Avenue: announcement of the departure of Carrie Rebora Barratt (below), a deputy director of the Metropolitan Museum* and longtime close associate of director Tom Campbell, is imminent, I hear. In 2009, Campbell called her “the Director’s right hand.” It will probably come on Monday, my sources tell […]

Museum Admissions: Better Than Free

Over the years, so many people have advocated for free admissions to art museums that one cannot keep track. I have almost always disagreed, with an  exception possibly being federally supported museums like the National Gallery of Art. Somebody has to pay, after all, and the same advocates of free admission often oppose donors who […]

Trading Places: The Met Museum and–Not MoMA

The news late last week twinned the Metropolitan Museum of Art* and the Museum of Modern Art,* making them a study in contrasts: The Met had just announced programming cutbacks, buyouts and other financial woes, while MoMA was basking in the glow of a $100 million donation from David Geffen. But I’ve been thinking for […]

Defending Melissa Chiu…UPDATED

When the Hirshhorn Museum, which has been led for the last year by Melissa Chiu, late of the Asia Society Museum, announced that its 40th anniversary gala would be held in New York, not in Washington, D.C., I too raised my eyebrows. That is a slap in the face to the hometown crowd, I thought. I have […]

Tom Krens: At It Again?

Tom Krens, the museum consultant formerly known as the director of the Guggenheim Foundation and booster of multi-branch museums, has always lived by the philosophy of “Go Big or Go Home.” Now, he is at it again. Last week, the Berkshire Eagle reported that Krens–who first proposed the creation of Mass MoCA in North Adams, […]

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