director of the Met since 1977
"Patrician Director of Metropolitan Museum to Retire", by CAROL VOGEL
"A patrician figure whose mellifluous multilingual voice on the museum’s audio guides is known to millions of visitors around the world, he is the eighth and longest-serving director in the institution’s 138-year history.
Mr. de Montebello, 71, has more than doubled the museum’s physical size during his tenure, carving out majestic new galleries suited to the Met’s encyclopedic holdings. Today it is the city’s biggest tourist attraction, with millions of visitors a year."
o comunicado oficial do MET: press
After Three Decades as Director, Philippe de Montebello Announces Retirement from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(New York, January 8, 2008)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Philippe de Montebello—whose long and storied career at the Museum has spanned nearly a third of the institution's entire history—will retire after more than 30 years as its eighth, and longest-serving, Director. Mr. de Montebello, who first joined the staff as a curatorial assistant in 1963, became Director in 1977, and assumed the additional role of Chief Executive Officer in 1998, plans to step down by December 31, 2008.
"To say that his decision marks the end of an era surely constitutes one of the great understatements, not only in the Museum's life, but in the cultural life of the city, the state, the nation, and the world," said James R. Houghton, Chairman of the Metropolitan's Board of Trustees. "Philippe de Montebello's manifest contributions to the Met span four decades bridging two different centuries. He leaves an incomparable legacy of accomplishment that has significantly enhanced the institution and brilliantly served its vast international public. No museum director anywhere has done more to expand and enrich the appreciation of art for more generations and with greater taste, erudition, diplomacy, and vision than Philippe de Montebello. As much as we regret his planned departure, we join in celebrating achievements that will sustain the Metropolitan—its collections, its programs, and its magnificent galleries—for generations to come."
Os sucessores possíveis...
nytimes.com / art 2
Let the Horse Race Begin: The Search for a Successor, By RANDY KENNEDY, January 9
"The last time the Metropolitan Museum of Art found itself looking for a director, the institution and the museum world around it were vastly different places.
It was 1977. The Met was about half its current size, with an operating budget one-fifth of the $200 million it now spends as one of the world’s largest and most important museums. Only a decade earlier, it has been said, the Met’s main catalog of three million works was still on handwritten cards in the basement."
NEIL MACGREGOR, 61, director of the British Museum since 2002 and before that the director of the National Gallery in London for 15 years... (In a 1998 interview with Time magazine, he said he considered museums “no more a luxury in modern life than literacy.”)
JAMES CUNO, 56, the president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2004, after leading the Harvard University Art Museums for 11 years and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London for 18 months.
GLENN D. LOWRY, 53, the director of the Museum of Modern Art since 1995, after the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto
GARY TINTEROW, 54, the curator in charge of the Met’s department of 19th-century, Modern and contemporary art. curator of European paintings since 1983
TIMOTHY POTTS, 49, former director of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; former director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, almost nine years > the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England.
MICHAEL GOVAN, 43, Dia Art Foundation for 12 years ( 2006 ); director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
"Mr. de Montebello's position is considered to be the most prominent at any art museum in the world.
The list of people who have been mentioned as potential successors includes the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor; the head of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette; the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Michael Govan; and the Met's curator of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art, Gary Tinterow. The former director of the Kimbell Art Museum, Timothy Potts, and the outgoing director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, William Griswold, have also been mentioned, but taking the Met job would require either of them to jump ship from a brand-new position. Mr. Potts took over as director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, on January 1, and Mr. Griswold will take office as the director of the Morgan Library and Museum in March".
By KATE TAYLOR, The NY Sun, January 9, 2008