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George Goldner: Nothing If Not Opinionated–And Entertaining

It’s not quite The Car Guys, but an exchange at a recent symposium at the Frick’s Center for the History of Collecting* has tickled a couple of people I know, who mentioned it to me. It’s called Philippe de Montebello Interviews George Goldner and it’s about Golder’s career buying drawings at the Getty and, ahem, the […]

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 […]

Obama Finally Replaces Librarian of Congress

It took more than six years, but President Obama got his way today, appointing the first African-American as Librarian of Congress: Carla D. Hayden, head of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore’s public library. I should say “nominating, because with this Congress and this President, who know what will happen. I first suggested that the LOC’s librarian James Billington, […]

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 […]

A Boomerang at the Metropolitan Museum

Stay tuned this afternoon for a strange and perhaps (a little) juicy announcement from the Metropolitan Museum of Art*. When trustees meet late this afternoon, one item on the agenda will be formal approval of a new trustee designated by the city’s controller, Scott Stringer (below). It will be none other than Harold Holzer, who […]

A Recipe For Trouble At New York City Museum

When more than a half dozen people shake their heads in disbelief at a museum announcement, and make a point of asking me what I think, I’d say it was time to weigh in publicly. The announcement that is raising questions came last Tuesday from the Museum of the City of New York. The board […]

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 […]

Flash: The Detroit Institute of Arts Names New Director

They have replaced Graham Beal as director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and it’s an inside job. Salvador Salort-Pons, the current curator of European paintings a the DIA, plus–since 2013–director of collection strategies and information, won the post. Not an easy job ahead of him, but I do think it was wise for the trustees […]

By The Numbers, Good Museum News in Virginia

Earlier this week, when I received an email from the American Folk Art Museum, I thought it was doing well–getting back on its feet after a disastrous over-expansion. Anne-Imelda Radice, the director, wrote that: We closed the fiscal year with great news: 150,018 visitors came through our doors, experiencing exhibitions, programs, events, the shop, and […]

Common Sense From Gary Vikan

Maybe retirement, if that’s what Gary Vikan–former head of the Walters Art Museum–had entered, loosens inhibitions. Vikan’s editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal may not have been written if he still had the job. It’s headlined The Case for Buying Antiquities to Save Them.  It’s about the unrelenting damage being perpetrated by ISIS, of course. […]

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