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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 […]

What Does BKM Mean In The Museum World? UPDATED

Can you guess? It is another attempt by a museum to be hip to the younger generation. It’s one of the latest changes to the visual identity of the Brooklyn Museum.* I don’t believe this change was announced, and I’m not sure when it took place. But several days ago I received in snail mail […]

Another Magazine Puts the Met Under the Microscope, Unfortunately

The Metropolitan Museum wanted attention this spring, this year, what with the opening of the Met Breuer–and it’s sure getting it. Another magazine has had its crack at interpreting the Met’s renewed attention to contemporary art: The New Republic published “State of the Art: The Metropolitan Museum makes a bid for the modern“ the other […]

Since We’re Voting, There’s This Artistic Conundrum

Lest you think I have no sense of fun from my last post, which chastised the Indianapolis Museum of Art for outsourcing its exhibition planning to the public, I thought I would mention an instance where I think engaging the public is fine. It has been taking place at the Royal Academy since mid-March, in […]

Indy Decides to Outsource Exhibition Decisions

For the last few years, the Indianapolis Museum of Art has, it seems to me, been on a crazy trajectory. As soon as it does something smart, it turns around and undermines itself. Now it seems to be hitting a new low.  Not content to anger its local constituency in 2014-15 by attempting to charge $18 […]

A Closer Look At Max Hollein, New Director in San Francisco

Yesterday the trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco announced that they had selected Max Hollein, currently director of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, as their new chief. I’d say that was a good move, based on what I know about Hollein. I’ve have only one long in-person discussion with him, plus over the […]

“Unfinished” Business: Reflections As the Met Breuer Opens to Public

In my experience, whenever a critic writes a review, some observations have to be left out. There’s no room; they don’t fit thematically without great, leaping transitions, or some other reason intrudes. Maybe they are fleeting thoughts, worth sharing in conversation but not meant for a written review. Those tidbits are what I plan to […]

The Met versus The Met–At Least People Care

I am, of course, talking about the Metropolitan Museum* and the Metropolitan Opera. Since I last posted, on the Met Museum’s new logo, many people have weighed in both here and on other sites as well as to me personally. The naysayers have been more vocal, if not more numerous (that is hard to tell). […]

The Met’s New Logo

It’s a disaster, as I predicted here last June in “The Met’s Coming Rebranding: A Puzzlement.” In fact, it’s worse than I had heard. Justin Davidson posted this image on New York magazine’s Vulture site earlier today. Ugh. Davidson nailed it: The whole ensemble looks like a red double-decker bus that has stopped short, shoving the […]

Hunger For Art: Time To Spread It Around?

It’s no secret that the museums in major cities that grew up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries–New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelpia, etc.–generally have great collections, not all of which are ever on view.  Then there are cities, large but newer and never rich, that lack a basic art museum of note. […]

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