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My Art Encounter With Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, who died this week, was not exactly a favorite person in the art world (or the literary world, for that matter). In a modern era, he was a throwback, a man who preferred realism of a particular kind. And on that score, I have a little story to tell about Wolfe.  Back in 2006, […]

Why Max Hollein Was Inevitable as Met’s Director

Put yourself in the position of a member of the Metropolitan Museum’s search committee: Despite all the pressure to choose anyone but another white male–somewhat wrong-headed pressure, imho–I think you’d have picked Max Hollein (at left) to be the next director of the museum too. For many reasons–as I will outline. I’ve commented favorably and […]

Ken Burns, Collector, Gets An Exhibition

There’s nothing like a celebrity, even a person behind the camera instead of in front of it, to attract attention–sometimes even deservedly so. I think that is the case for an exhibition opening Friday, Jan. 19, at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  “Uncovered: The Ken Burns Collection” will display 28 quilts to […]

Museum Admissions, Deaccessions: Let’s Get Real

I have not waded into either of the debates that are raging across the art museum world at the moment. So far, I’ve avoided commenting on the deaccessions planned by the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass., which has been tied up in the court system for months, and the LaSalle University Art Museum in Philadelphia, […]

Music Lessons for Museums

Over the past year or so, I have had the pleasure of working with the Wallace Foundation on its Building Audiences for Sustainability program, which has been funding initiatives at performing arts organizations for the past few years. My project–a case study that was just published–involved the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and it took me to […]

A New American Home for Italian Contemporary Art

There’s a new kid on the art block in the Hudson River Valley–Magazzino, in Cold Spring, about an hour and 45 minutes north of New York City. I went up to attend its opening on Saturday and made a trip, too, to Jack Shainman Gallery’s The School, further up the Hudson Valley in Kinderhook. The […]

Dan Weiss Announced As Met’s CEO: Initial Thoughts

My initial reaction to this morning’s announcement from the Metropolitan Museum*–that Daniel H. Weiss is now President and Chief Executive Officer, with the TBD director reporting to him–is skepticism. I’ve got nothing against Weiss. I don’t know him. But as a long-time student of corporate governance and museum governance, I don’t think this particular arrangement is […]

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 […]

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