March 14, 2008

The NY Times' special Museums section

The NY Times' latest special Museums section has a number of interesting articles (log in may be required).  First, a cautionary look at museum directors who leave after a major building project. The article offers a wonderful overview of the challenges of shepherding a new building to completion. One tidbit of oft-forgotten common knowledge stands out:

Too often, Mr. Wilson said, building plans are sealed with a director’s promise to lift local employment, revitalize urban centers and lure out-of-towners. “Expectations are based on hype,” he said. “And directors go along with it because they can’t raise the money any other way.”  The good news is that for a year after the opening of a new building, a major spike in attendance can be expected. The bad news is that attendance consistently levels off after two or three years. That’s when directors typically depart.
Other pieces are as interesting, including a nice overview of how museums are becoming centers for special events, coverage of new exhibits at the NSA's Museum of Cryptology, and a good piece on "Creative Visions, but for Millions Less" where we are reminded that "Good design doesn't know finance." Amen.

Update: The Washington Post has an interesting museums section as well.

No comments: