Two top officials of the Metropolitan Museum of Art have offered violently opposing opinions on Rogues’ Gallery. One is the prevailing opinion of the Manhattan plutocracy, too. What do you think?
Harold Holzer, the museum’s current Senior Vice President for External Affairs, says: “A so-called ‘history’ of The Metropolitan Museum of Art that ignores its mission, and blurs the distinction between gossip and fact, is not only insensitive but highly misleading.” (He refused to be specific.)
Daniel Herrick, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of the museum from 1968 until 1985, and then the CFO and Treasurer of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., says: “There’s so much more in Rogues’ Gallery than I, even after working there for seventeen years, could possibly have imagined or known. The book represents a prodigious piece of work (with some 37 pages of notes and bibliography) about those who created and operate this nations’ leading museum of art. It’s simply great theatre. As giants of our country’s recent history stride across the stage of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, some of these characters stand taller than others, set apart by their intimately described eccentricities, foibles, and motivations. Each, however, has been bound by their own role, whatever it may be, so deeply involved in our house of treasures. We’re indebted to Mr. Gross for setting the scene as one century has closed and we stand on the cusp of the next. It’s difficult to see, though, how future people and events could even conceivably carry the drama and excitement of this era that’s been so well turned out in Rogues’ Gallery.”