If Judith Miller finds a Museum of Atomic Testing, does that necessarily mean it exists? (I mean, we remember what Judi said about WMD in Iraq�)
That’s one of the very few questions raised by Wednesday’s NYT Museums advertorial section. (Moreso than past editions, this one is an advertising section with puff pieces written by the editorial staff.) Most notoriously, as I pointed out yesterday, is a preposterous story in which the MFA Boston’s rental of paintings to a commercial gallery in a Las Vegas casino is termed a “loan.” That story alone is proof that editors of the NYT are completely arts-clueless these days.
There isn’t a single hard-hitting story in the entire section. There are hints of newsy items �- notably a story that quotes Getty boss Barry Munitz saying, “We’re asking ourselves, does that pattern [of expanding and building satellite institutions] make any sense for us?” Do we want other sites? Do we want other partners?”
If one of the world’s richest museums is considering expanding beyond LA, that’s real news that should be explored beyond a pithy quote. But as befits a puff piece in a section full of puffery and art-is-good-for-you-and-don’t-you-challenge-it puffery what else would you expect?
An unquestioning Carol Vogel piece equates attendance at museum special exhibits with successful execution of mission. Museums should not exist to pack-’em-in as densely as possible. Museums, among other things, are havens for contemplation and enjoyment. Attendance should not be the only indicator of success.