PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE The next Met director will have to balance new, new things (shark by Damien Hirst) and classics ("Madonna and Child" by Duccio di Buoninsagna).
(Favorite weird juxtaposition of the week)
NYTimes, Ideas & Trends
What Awaits the Met
By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: January 13, 2008
THOUGH expected, the news last week that Philippe de Montebello would retire as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art elicited a range of emotions among museumgoers: pride and sadness at the end of a stellar era, and anxiety about the future.
"I was shaky," said Jerry Saltz, the art critic for New York magazine, striking a common note. "Because just at a time when big museums are getting things like new wings so spectacularly wrong, the Met has been getting things close to perfect."
Mr. de Montebello is indeed leaving strong, following several recent gallery renovations and a run of well-attended, scholarly, rigorous and critically acclaimed exhibitions. What happens next at the Met has relevance for all major institutions undergoing a generational shift — and all museums in this young century. Here are some themes certain to arise. [read on]