Also for our new “Why Do We Even Bother Getting Out of Bed Anymore?” category comes the news from our neighbor to the north that the financial mess has chalked up its first victim. The Minnesota Museum of American Art has announced that it will shut its doors come January. Although they’ve said it will only be on a temporary basis, the St. Paul-based museum has long suffered from a whole string of setbacks, from rising deficits to trimming budgets and staff on a regular basis in an effort to try and make due, so the long-term outlook looks bleak at the moment. And St. Paul is probably a little too far away from Los Angeles for Eli Broad to step in and throw them some sunshine. Here’s a bit:
The museum has been in decline since the late 1980s, when it failed to raise $25 million for a new building and endowment project. It sold its former home in the Art Deco-style Jemne Building, sold off an Asian art collection, changed its name to focus on American art and consolidated its programs at nearby Landmark Center. In the past decade the museum continually downsized, trimming its annual budget from $800,000 in 1998 to about $700,000 last year and reducing full-time staff from 13 to three this summer.
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