May 8, 2013
Celeste Bartos Theater
Museum of Modern Art
4 West 54th Street, New York
4–6 p.m. panel discussion
6–7 p.m. reception
This panel discussion was part of the AFA’s series ArtViews—lively discussions on critical issues in the museum world. The sold-out event was moderated by Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and an AFA trustee, who also moderated the first ArtViews panel, “Art Museum Funding at the Crossroads.”
Mr. Anderson led four distinguished panelists in a wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussion about the pros and cons of blockbuster exhibitions and the impact they have on the museums that present them. Issues they touched on included: the true costs of such exhibitions; the connection between “hit shows” and museum membership; the effect of large loan exhibitions on traditional relationships among museums; the educational value of crowd-pleasing shows for the general public; and the blockbuster’s ongoing viability, especially in financially troubled times.
Aaron Betsky: Director, Cincinnati Art Museum
Nathalie Bondil: Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Glenn D. Lowry: Director, The Museum of Modern Art
Jennifer Russell: Associate Director for Exhibitions, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Art Museum Blockbusters: Myths, Facts, and Their Future” was organized by the American Federation of Arts in association with the Arts and Business Council of New York and the Association of Art Museum Directors.
Lead corporate sponsorship for this program was provided by Sotheby’s.
Generous funding was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, with additional support from David Teiger and an anonymous donor.