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Archive for November, 2009

“His book is hushed-up… ” … but not in Germany.

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Unlike many American newspapers and magazines, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung isn’t afraid of the great and powerful trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So despite the fact that Rogues’ Gallery is not available in German translation, the paper gave it feature treatment last week in an article by Claudia Steinberg, who says that the book “reads like an adventure novel.” If you can read German, you can read the article in pdf form here.

Whose Times?

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In a defense in today’s community newspaper of the potent argument that wealthy countries with wealthy, well-staffed museums should hang onto antiquities taken illegally from less powerful and less caring nations because they are better-equipped to preserve, protect, study and expose them, John Tierney undercut his argument by misrepresenting the role played in just such a case by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That this happened in the New York Times isn’t entirely surprising, granted the Sulzberger family’s conflicting roles in the two institutions, but Tierney’s Met-centric description of the Lydian Hoard affair is a perfect argument for the case … Continue reading

Campbell in the Soup, Pt.2

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The still new-ish director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas Campbell, made a seemingly pointless —no exhibitions were touted, no news revealed —five minute appearance on The Colbert Report last night (caveat spectator: it starts at the sixteenth minute, after several no-skip commercials). Despite Stephen Colbert’s valiant attempts to engage the rumpled, weary-looking Brit in humor (“Ever lick a painting?”), Campbell resisted, making the segment rather pallid. But several of his remarks (“We’re in the business of showing five thousand years of what people have done,” he said of the museum he touted as “the whole world history in … Continue reading

Wintour Warming

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Biographer Jerry Oppenheimer profiled the Vogue editor and Metropolitan Musem honorary trustee Anna Wintour in yesterday’s New York Post in a story pegged to her 60th Brithday and quoted me saying that though her pedestal has grown “perilously small,” Wintour remains “a looming figure in the world of image.” But Oppenheimer also claimed that I “skewer” her in Rogues’ Gallery. Is it really all that wounding to say that her effect on the museum’s image and marketing has been incalculable? Something tells me the Queen of Fashion is tough enough to take it.