Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
Yesterday, there was a small protest outside of the Met in New York City over the charitable contributions of one of the museums trustees and donors, David H. Koch (of the Koch brothers). Hyperallergic sums it up nicely. Protestors are against having the newly renovated plaza in front of the museum carry the Koch name, as they are against the conservative and anti-environmental causes Koch is known for endorsing (when he’s not donating $65 million to the Met). Met Director Thomas Campbell is quoted in the New York Times saying that based on the generosity of Koch’s donation, having his name on the plaza fountain seemed appropriate. Sure, I agree. If we couldn’t put names on buildings, we wouldn’t be educated or work in (or eat in, sleep in, live in, etc.) such gracious and maintained architecture.
But as an art manager, how do you balance the lifestyles of your donors with the lifestyles of your patrons and regular visitors? Can you? Should you? I can see how this situation could play out on a smaller scale than the Met and a $65 million contribution, and that makes it no less complicated or delicate. To illustrate my point, you need only to read the comments on The New York Times post. I realize that I raise more questions than answers in this post…what would you do?