My first reaction when this press release from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco hit my inbox today at 6:51 p.m. was: This has gotta be a hoax! Reading the first sentence of FAMSF's announcement made me even more incredulous: The Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) and the Corporation of the Fine Arts Museums (COFAM) today appointed … [Read more...] about Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Campbell Gamble: Tom & Max Hollein Improbably Trade Places
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Smart is the adjective that always crops up when people describe Max Hollein, the Metropolitan Museum's new director. Yesterday, he made one of his first smart moves by issuing a detailed letter to Met members, appending an email address through which they can share "any thoughts about the museum." To convey some idea of who Max is and what he plans to do, here are … [Read more...] about Remember the Members: Parsing Max Hollein’s Letter to Metropolitan Museum’s Most Devoted Fans
Max Hollein will have two strikes against him---one insignificant, one potentially serious---when he walks in the door this summer as the Metropolitan Museum's new director. The first liability is irremediable, unless he's planning a sex-change: He is not a woman. In this identity-politics era, that's a lamentable deficiency for some, notably Lisa Oliver, an assistant … [Read more...] about What Obstacles Will Max Hollein Need to Surmount as Metropolitan Museum’s New Director?
The Städel Museum, Frankfurt Photo: Norbert Miguletz Max Hollein, director of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, responds to Städel Museum's Expansion, Nazi-Era History: I understand that you might have gotten the impression of my being too hesitant answering your question about "What's next?" during our discussion about the research on the Städel's history during the Nazi … [Read more...] about BlogBack: Max Hollein on the Städel Museum’s Nazi-Era History
Okay, I knew this. Last week, I contacted Max Hollein, who this afternoon has just been named (by Robin Pogrebin, at the above link) as the Metropolitan Museum's next director, effective this summer. (Press release from the Met came shortly after the NY Times piece, and perhaps others that I didn't see, went online.) I had asked Max last Wednesday if he could send me … [Read more...] about Fine with Hollein: Max to Be Metropolitan Museum’s New Director
When I interviewed him more than a year ago over lunch in New York, Frankfurt museum director Max Hollein and I were obsessed with technology. I was then working on this Wall Street Journal article about how museums use technology to improve the gallery experience (or not). He was promoting the new Digital Extension initiative at the Städel Museum, one of the three Frankfurt … [Read more...] about Max Facts: How Hollein Straddles the Divides Between Contemporary/Historic, Tech/Traditional
Max Hollein, the Met's new director, who spoke confidently and compellingly during our informal NYC lunches while he was directing three Frankfurt museums, twice surprised me in the space of one week with his uneasy, hesitant delivery during introductory remarks at two recent press previews (Jack Whitten last Wednesday; Delacroix today). He even seemed tense during a 25-minute, … [Read more...] about Holistic Hollein: A Halting Conversation with the Metropolitan Museum’s New Director
The last time I interviewed Max Hollein, 46, who has just been named to become the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's new director (effective June 1), he was in New York for the November 2014 annual meeting of the Bizot Group (aka the International Group of Organizers of Large Scale Exhibitions), for which he then was (and still is) chairman. Bizot consists of the heads of … [Read more...] about Fine with Hollein: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Snare an International Standout as Director
Max Hollein, director of Frankfurt's Städel Museum, Schirn Kunsthalle and Sculpture Collection of the Liebieghaus Photo: Gaby Gerster © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt/Gabi Gerster I'm always peskily pointing a finger at other peoples' mistakes, so I guess I should own up to one of my own. As CultureGrrl readers may remember (although I probably shouldn't remind you), I … [Read more...] about Holing Up with Hollein: Städel’s Current Expansion, Nazi-Era History (plus Whitney’s David Smith show)
A CultureGrrl reader helpfully alerted me to the fact that Max Hollein, possibly to be named the next Metropolitan Museum director, is also on the board of trustees of the Neue Galerie, New York. And I've also discovered that a documentary film has recently been made about him by Avanti Media.According to the description of "Max Hollein---My Life":Hollein's museum policies … [Read more...] about More on Hollein: Another U.S. Museum Connection; “Too American”?
Throwing caution to the winds, the Metropolitan Museum today went beyond the more measured words of a few other museums in its angry call to "bring to justice those responsible" for the "criminal actions" at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The Met's official Statement on Capitol Desecration, signed by Daniel Weiss, president and CEO, and Max Hollein, director, began with this … [Read more...] about Capitol Offense: Metropolitan Museum Blasts “Domestic Terrorism” by “Treasonous Rioters”
POIGNANT?!? "Horrific," "Profoundly Disturbing," "Jolting"...but surely not "Poignant." That mild adjective was used by the Metropolitan Museum's communications office in its headline (below) for the press release announcing the display (to Jan. 18) of Gerhard Richter's four paintings from his "landmark 'Birkenau' series" of 2014, in which black-and-white photographic … [Read more...] about “Birkenau” Blunder: Metropolitan Museum Says Richter’s Riffs on the Holocaust are “Poignant”
Here we go again... The above headline echos my title for a June 2009 post, reporting on the Metropolitan Museum's staff purge during the Great Recession. So it's with dejected déjà vu that I now regretfully report the imminent departure of some 90 Metropolitan Museum staffers, from departments including security, facilities management, retail, education, conservation, … [Read more...] about Who’s Leaving the Metropolitan Museum? A Partial List of Retirees
Either Max Hollein and Daniel Weiss, the director and president of the Metropolitan Museum, were knowing participants in Yoko Ono's mischievous potshot at their august institution, or they fell for her prank. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the only explanation I can come up with for Max's and Dan's absurdly effusive praise for the conceptual/performance artist's "bold and … [Read more...] about Yoko’s Joke: Signs of the Times for the Metropolitan Museum’s Impending Reopening
I have to hand it to Holland Cotter: For better or worse, the NY Times' co-chief art critic was right. I was wrong. In criticizing as "shockingly tone-deaf" Cotter's 3,000-word think piece published almost five months ago, I had opined that his sweeping plan for reinventing museums during their pandemic-related closures was a non-starter at a time when "museums have to … [Read more...] about Consciousness Raised, Budgets Cut: Irreconcilable Imperatives at Metropolitan (& other museums)