Museums in the 21st. Century (2)

I realise that I hadn’t mentioned watching the three-part series about the Met., made last year which was its 150th. anniversary and which gave a remarkable insight into the individual and collective trauma of having to close its doors in the year that it should have been celebrating.   Things that stick in the mind are Keith Christiansen, the chairman of the department of European Paintings, explaining that he felt it was time to hand on the baton; the intensity and fervour with which Daniel Weiss, its President, explained how the institution had to change; and the overall sense of them all coping while New York was in crisis. There have been plenty of other films about museums – I think particularly of Frederick Wiseman’s epic about the National Gallery – but few which have given such a clear and fair-minded idea of their workings behind the scenes. On BBC Four and well worth watching.

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