Eleven-plus years after Rogues’ Gallery was published, I discovered this appreciation, penned by Steven Miller, a museum director (at Boscobel, one of my favorites), curator, educator and prolific writer, the latest entry in Amazon’s customer reviews:
“Having been in the museum field in various director and curatorial positions for fifty years, I can attest to the honesty and quality of this inside look at how these cultural institutions are governed and lead. The author has done impressive research into a realm rarely known or understood by the general public much less many in the museum profession. Museums have an aura and reputation that is commendable. How that is achieved and what is required to sustain much less advance it, is a complex mix of scholarly devotion, intellectual prestidigitation, public appreciation, hucksterism, social status, and, a lot of money. Few books present this reality in a more open and comprehensive way. As one of the most important museums in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a prominent example of how most reputable long-lasting museums operate when it comes to the nuances and realities of governing and running them. Having taught museum studies for more than sixteen years, I am very familiar with books about the subject. Few (none?) address it in the way Michael Gross does, or as well. While the Met is large and wealthy, the details of its operations are hardly unique to it. Just about every museum of any size deals with similar issues. Only the scope, number and character of its participants varies. The book is especially important given how museums are perceived today. The history of the Met is an enticing tale all by itself, but, the lessons the author provides are very contemporary. Most writing about museums alone can be pedantic and boring. That is not the case with Rogue’s Gallery. It is written in a lively style that moves along at a nice pace. Even some humor is thrown in, which, when well done, is always a welcome.”
So is Mr. Miller’s praise. Thank you!