Que casualidad...una noticia hoy sobre el MET para el mundo, sin esconderse de nadie, con directores contestando preguntas de la prensa durante los 8 meses de busqueda por un nuevo director, y con el apoyo de una Junta de verdad...una lectura obligada para nuestros amateurs. La ironía es que Miyuca lleva casi tanto tiempo al mando del MAC como lo estuvo Montebello en el MET. Toda esta falsa de Miyuca dan ganas de llorar. El artículo del Times tiene hasta gráficas interactivas...ay Trelles, y tu escribiendo artículos de chismes y refritos.
Leer sin prejuicios y con una taza de café, vale la pena... en el NY Times
Thomas P. Campbell and Philippe de Montebello, after Tuesday's announcement.
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: September 9, 2008Ending months of fervid speculation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art reached into its own ranks on Tuesday and chose Thomas P. Campbell, a 46-year-old English-born tapestries curator, to succeed Philippe de Montebello as director and chief executive.
The appointment, effective Jan. 1, was approved in a late-afternoon vote by the museum’s board of trustees after a suspenseful eight-month search that began when Mr. Montebello, 72, announced plans to retire after 31 years in the post.
Given the profile of the Met and Mr. de Montebello, a patrician presence who presided over scores of ambitious exhibitions and acquisitions, it was the most closely watched search ever in the museum world. The Met’s committee worked so secretively that some trustees and most of the museum’s curators were still unaware on Monday of its decision.
In selecting Mr. Campbell, the Met seems to have opted for intellectual heft as well as continuity. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute in London, he arrived at the museum in 1995 and made his reputation through much-praised scholarly catalogs and ambitious shows involving complex logistics and diplomacy. His exhibition “Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence” became the sleeper hit of 2002, attracting some 215,000 visitors, more than twice what the museum had projected, with many works that had never been seen in America.
Reached by telephone, James R. Houghton, the board chairman, said, “Clearly we wanted a scholar and art historian who is respected in his field, has a keen intellect and can be decisive.”
In capturing the post, Mr. Campbell appeared to have edged out finalists including Max Hollein, the popular director of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, and two Met curators who currently outrank him: Ian Wardropper, 57, the head of Mr. Campbell’s department, European sculpture and decorative arts; and Gary Tinterow, 54, the curator in charge of 19th-century, modern and contemporary art.
Asked whether he expected any ruffled feathers as a result, Mr. Houghton said: “Probably. This is a hell of a job.”
Yet when Mr. Campbell’s name surfaced recently, many of the Met’s seasoned curators started rooting for him. Respected among his peers as a scholar, he also happens to be well liked.
Although he has not run a big department, his managerial skill was tested when, shortly after his arrival, he became the supervising curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, which houses the Met’s encyclopedic collection of 36,000 textiles.
In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Campbell said he would build on the Met’s traditions of scholarship, “in ways that are fresh and relevant for the age in which we live.”
Beyond the challenge of carving out his own identity after the de Montebello years, Mr. Campbell faces the task of maintaining the quality of the museum’s programming and covering its vast operating expenses in the face of eroding corporate support.
In an increasingly shaky economy, he will have to be an adroit fund-raiser and social butterfly, courting wealthy donors and collectors who can help pay for crucial acquisitions and eventually bequeath collections to the museum. (In a reflection of those pressures, the search committee went so far as to meet the finalists’ wives.)
The ninth director in the Met’s 138-year history, Mr. Campbell confronts a world that has radically changed in the decades since Mr. de Montebello took the job. The museum’s mandate and its competition are more global than ever, as new museums with innovative agendas are sprouting up in Europe, Asia and unexpected corners like the mega-wealthy United Arab Emirates.
Repatriation demands are likely to rear anew, with institutions in China, India and Africa potentially knocking on the Met’s door to seek the return of works of art acquired in recent decades. Under Mr. de Montebello, the Met surrendered artifacts including a legendary ancient Greek vessel known as the Euphronios krater that returned to Italy this year. (The Italians argued that it was looted from their soil months before the museum bought it in 1972.)
While expansions by star architects attract crowds these days, that will not be an option for Mr. Campbell — at least not at the Met’s home on Fifth Avenue, where it cannot extend its already sizable footprint. Unlike the Louvre or the Guggenheim, the Met has given no indication that it would consider opening satellite branches.
But Mr. Campbell also faces the issue of what it means to be an encyclopedic museum in an age obsessed by contemporary art. The Met must be savvy enough to engage a younger audience without alienating loyal visitors, and its director must be savvy enough to balance that need against its board; at a trustees’ dinner this spring, Annette de la Renta, a chairwoman of the museum’s board, raised a toast to change, said a trustee who was present.
For years the museum has been faulted for its spotty 20th- and 21st-century holdings and its halfhearted presentation of younger, contemporary artists. While supporting important acquisitions over the years like Jasper Johns’s 1955 “White Flag,” Mr. de Montebello made no secret of his lack of interest in cutting-edge art.
In a phone interview, Mr. de Montebello praised Mr. Campbell’s appointment. “He’s the most modern of us all,” he said, invoking Met directors. “We’ve had a Romanist, a medievalist, but he goes up through the Baroque.
“This is the right choice,” he added. “Tom is a very distinguished scholar. I would have been surprised had they brought in someone from the outside.”
The 11-member committee that settled on Mr. Campbell represents artistic interests that are nearly as broad as the museum’s holdings. Led by S. Parker Gilbert, a former chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Ms. de la Renta, a passionate devotee of European painting and decorative arts, it also included the board members Cynthia Hazen Polsky, a collector of modern, contemporary and Southeast Asian art; and Shelby White, an antiquities collector who with her husband, Leon Levy, who died in 2003, helped finance the Met’s new Greek and Roman galleries.
It might have helped Mr. Campbell that, unlike the other two Met curators in the running, he was not overtly campaigning for the job. “People put him forward,” Mr. Houghton said of Mr. Campbell. “There were people here who thought, ‘Now, here’s a guy with potential who stands for the museum.’ ”
Although Mr. Tinterow remained a contender until late in the search, he is said to have had strained relationships with some powerful board members and senior curators.
The expansion of his portfolio in 2004 to include modern and contemporary art in addition to his 19th-century specialty might have worked against him, given that the Met’s offerings are viewed as a lackluster reflection of what is happening in that world today.
Mr. Campbell also leapfrogged over Mr. Wardropper, whose department has 11 curators that supervise 60 galleries and 60,000 objects from the Renaissance to the beginning of Modernism.
In the last few weeks, the committee was said to have narrowed its choices to one internal candidate, Mr. Campbell, and one external one, Mr. Hollein. Both are relatively young, as the Met wanted a director who would serve for an extended period.
Mr. Hollein, who leads the Städel Museum and the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, was born in 1969. The son of the Viennese architect Hans Hollein, he has a degree in business as well as one in art history. His abiding interest is in modern and contemporary art, and as director of the two Frankfurt institutions, he helped shape an exhibition program that included “Shopping: A Century of Art and Consumer Culture” and “Dream Factory Communism: The Visual Culture of the Stalin Era.”
In the end, Mr. Campbell’s popularity within the museum coupled with his more traditional scholarly background won him the job. He was born and raised in Cambridge, England, and earned a degree in English language and literature at Oxford University in 1984. He also studied in Christie’s fine and decorative arts program in London.
It was at Christie’s that he discovered how overlooked the tapestry field was. From 1987 to 1994 he created the Franses Tapestry Archive in London: with more than 120,000 images, it is now the largest resource on European tapestries and figurative textiles in the world. He received his doctorate from the Courtauld Institute in 1999 after writing a treatise on the art and culture of Henry VIII’s court.
Hired by the Met in 1995 as an assistant curator in the department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, he rose to full curator in 2003.
Last year Mr. Campbell organized a sequel to “Tapestry in the Renaissance.” When that show, “Tapestry in the Baroque,” opened, Mr. Campbell’s voice could be heard narrating the audio guide in his British accent. For now, it is far less familiar than Mr. de Montebello’s plummy voice, which has been synonymous with the Met for three decades.