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Philippe de Montebello Headed to NYU

montebello.jpgWhere do you go after a storied, 31-year tenure at the helm of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Just a few blocks, actually, to New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where departing Metropolitan Museum director Philippe de Montebello will be the first professor to teach the history and culture of museums, The New York Times reported today. The move will be officially announced tonight at a NYU dinner.

Mr. de Montebello, who turned 72 on Friday, said he planned to teach full time. But rather than lecturing on what might seem most obvious — how to run a museum, for example, or the history of 15th- and 16th-century French and Netherlandish painting, his scholarly area of expertise — he said he would cover the history of collecting and connoisseurship and the evolution of museums, including the central issue of how the museum’s mission can be defined in today’s world.

Not to be outdone by former Guggenheim director Thomas Krens, de Montebello will also dabble in Abu Dhabi-related consulting by advising NYU on its plan for a new overseas campus there. “That’s the icing on the cake,” de Montebello told the Times. “It’s a part of the world I love.”

And speaking of the Met, author Michael Gross is apparently in the market for a photo of the museum’s facade worthy of the cover of his new book, Galleycat’s Ron Hogan reports (via Liz Smith). The Met has forbidden stock photo agencies from selling image rights to the muckraking Gross, so here’s your chance, aspiring photogs! Just be prepared to be paid in too-hot-for-print anecdotes about 740 Park in lieu of cash.

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