How the Metropolitan Museum of Art Painted a Dismal Financial Picture

April 18, 2017 5:00 am
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


On August 4, 2016, Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Campbell announced a record number of visitors during the last fiscal year. A huge contemporary art expansion was in the works.

By early 2017, Campbell resigned and the Met has found itself to be in a state of general disarray. The expansion has been delayed indefinitely.

Boris Kachka has taken an extended look at the Met in New York Magazine. Kachka finds a board that embraced Campbell’s ambitions and was all too willing to ignore his attention to smaller details, like paying for things. (The Met currently has a $15 million deficit.) It’s a reminder that running the Met is about displaying timeless masterpieces from across the globe, but also making sure the gift shop and restaurants are profitable.

Quite simply, to operate the Met successfully is a remarkable balancing act—on which Campbell slipped.

Read more about the crisis at the Met in New York Magazine.


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