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Another Shoe Drops At the Met

As predicted here on Monday, Susan Sellers, Head of Design at the Metropolitan Museum,* is departing and returning to private practice. The memo from the top came this morning and said, in part: We are grateful for her work on the brand strategy and identity, The Met Breuer opening, and the introduction of new design […]

The Ax Falls At The Met, Again…More to Come

Today the Metropolitan Museum announced a significant layoff: Cynthia Round (below), the senior vice president of Marketing and External Relation–who was hired by Thomas Campbell, the director, only in 2014. Her department, remember, was in charge of the rebranding and the dreadful new logo. She also oversaw press and, apparently, was responsible for the regrettable […]

What Is Manus x Machina Doing For the Met?

It was a hot Sunday afternoon on a three-day holiday weekend, and I decided to visit the Metropolitan Museum* to see Manus x Machina, the costume exhibition that occupies the Lehman wing. It was a revelation on many levels. First, the exhibition is, as most commentary has said, a well-thought out execution of a very […]

A Small Museum Focuses On Men

Small museums in this country, and probably everywhere, tend to be ignored. Most lack the kind of art and exhibition program that brings notice beyond their communities. But the Freeport Museum of Art, in northern Illinois, just did something that caught my eye: it organized an exhibition called The Nature of Masculinity.  Yes, there have […]

That Sad, Empty,Yet Hopeful Palestinian Museum

You may have seen the New York Times article headlined Palestinian Museum Prepares to Open, Minus Exhibitions in Tuesday’s paper. It told the sad story of a new museum, “a stunning, contemporary new building; soaring ambitions as a space to celebrate and redefine Palestinian art, history and culture; an outdoor amphitheater; a terraced garden” that […]

SF MoMA and Museum Architecture: Killing A Meme

Have you seen the new Snohetta-designed expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art? I’ve seen only pictures (one, at right), but it should in my opinion put to rest the line many museum directors have been using in recent years that traditional museum buildings are “intimidating” to young people. (See here for such […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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