The Museum Bubble Has Popped

| 8/11/2009 4:06:59 PM

Art MuseumMuseums aren’t just casualties of the current economic collapse, they actively fed the boom and subsequent bust, Ben Davis writes for ArtNetMuseum boards engaged in short-sited speculation, gambling huge endowments in hedge funds and other risky investments.

Now that those endowments are worth a fraction of what they once were, and with governments drastically cutting their support for the arts to stave off budget crises, the large institutions aren’t the ones hurt most.  “Everyone knows who is getting hardest hit,” Davis writes, “it is the personnel who do the unglamorous day-to-day stuff that makes these places run.”

Source: ArtNet 

Image by gomattolson, licensed under Creative Commons.


12/27/2009 3:34:04 AM

Now that those endowments are designer a compute of what they erst were, and with governments drastically cutting their substantiation for the bailiwick to stave off budget crises, the extensive institutions aren't the ones bruise most. "Everyone knows who is feat hardest hit," Painter writes, "it is the section who do the unglamorous day-to-day nonsense that makes these places run." ===============================

Stephen Morse
8/17/2009 9:51:40 AM

So, in the class war, the arts play both sides of the border; the artist is sort of the cowboy, the hired hand that doesn't bite any hand that feeds him today.

Layne G.
8/12/2009 12:13:19 AM

Even such small arts venues that are most battered in the recession, of course. Art, in our society, has an intermediate status -- lavished with praise in the good times, considered dispensable in the bad times. And yet culture tends to be at the head of the line for whatever spare funds there are, for the simple reason that it is a cause that the rich and powerful can relate to. "The growing divide between the wealthy and the middle class has meant that causes supported by the less affluent face an increasingly tough time," the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported in 2007, at the height of the "New Gilded Age" chatter, when donations to cultural charities were growing at a phenomenal rate. These days, even the arts are fighting for respect. Down in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal’s recent budget contained a massive cut for cultural subsidies. Protests by the arts community won back $2.3 million to preserve historic sites at the last minute, and a few other scraps. But the same budget also reduced funding for food banks from $5 million to $500,000, a criminal assault on the state’s neediest citizens. This dynamic is worth meditating on. Given the anatomy of the museum meltdown, the art world should ask itself whose side it is on -- those who are worst hit by this crisis, or those who caused it in the first place? To read more:

Facebook Instagram Twitter