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If This Can Happen at the Met and the British Museum…We Have A Big Problem

Two completely unrelated news items have prompted this post. It has become pretty clear of late that many people do not know how to behave (gosh, is that too old-fashioned a term, even?) in art museums. On May 4, the New York Post reported that celebs at the Met’s* recent Costume Institute gala had smoked […]

Who Gets What? David Rockefeller’s Art Bequests

Of all his art interests, we have long known that the Museum of Modern Art came first for David Rockefeller, who died last month. But there were in his will a few other bequests for museums. MoMA is to receive $125 million overall; he had already begun giving MoMA annual $5 million installments to fulfill […]

A Trouble With Museum Boards

When I started writing that headline, above, I wrote “the” trouble with… But I quickly corrected myself because, as financial and other troubles have plagued many art museums of late (not least the Metropolitan Museum of Art*), it’s very clear that many museum boards have more than one fault. But a press release today from […]

At the Top of the Met, Salaries Rose During Buyouts & Layoffs

Consider the top two-thirds of this posts as akin to a re-tweet, because I have not confirmed the numbers. Yesterday, the New York Post published a story online headlined “Money-losing Met hands execs hefty raises.” In it, with numbers drawn from a new (or newish?) 2015 federal income tax filing, we learn that four current […]

The Met: What Happens Next, Part Two

As I indicated in yesterday’s post, the Metropolitan Museum of Art* is in for a bit of a rough patch–but let’s not overdo it (as some people have). The Met’s exhibitions program–its core–is still packed with excellent offerings. Great curators still want to work for the Met–or will, once things settle down. It goes without […]

The Met: What Happens Next, Part One

Tom Campbell’s forced resignation from the top post at the Metropolitan Museum of Art* yesterday was both expected and shocking at the same time. Given the museum’s financial woes–most of which Campbell is responsible for–and internal morale, especially among curators–ditto–he could not last. He is just 54, and normal retirement would be years away. Campbell […]

Uh-Oh: Trouble at the Brooklyn Museum?

I’m not sure, but I just received an email announcing that Nancy Spector, who had joined the Brooklyn Museum* just last April as Deputy Director and Chief Curator, is moving back to the Guggenheim Museum–from whence she came. At the Guggenheim, she will be in a “new position” as Artistic Director and Chief Curator. Her […]

Kenneth Clark’s Response to Crisis

During World War II, in London’s bleak days, Kenneth Clark acted, as the review of his biography by James Stourton in today’s New York Times reminds us. Clark recognized that in dark times there is a yearning for serious art, music and literature. Many people now feel that we as a nation are going through […]

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. […]

A Big Splash for A Little Museum

Winona, MN, is home to just 27,500 people, but it has an art museum worthy of a much bigger city. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (below)–which is far more interesting that you may now be imagining–just celebrated its tenth anniversary. And an article that I wrote about it for The Wall Street Journal was published […]

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