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Museum News Round-Up

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A quick round-up of interesting museum news. First, the news outlets are continuing their research into top museum officials’ salaries, this time finding Bloomberg focusing on Ellen Futter, the present of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Despite major cutbacks in endowments, resulting layoffs, and raised ticket prices, Futter reportedly brought in over a million dollars in combined salary, bonuses, and perks. Though they do mention that she also took on a five percent pay cut this year, but we don’t see that really appeasing any readers who will get worked up about how much she’s being paid (is that the point of all these recent pieces?). Second, with museums across the country suffering, the NY Times reports that massive financial institutions like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have been putting together their own pre-packaged exhibitions to give to hurting museums, useable for a small fee and with the understanding that the lending company will have its branding everywhere. This has museum people, of course, a little on edge, but surprisingly generally positive about the whole thing, just so long as they have some involvement in getting to finalize how the exhibits function. And last, moving outside, the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s war on food vendors has kicked up a notch. Just weeks after the high-profile removal of a long-time hot dog cart owner, the Met (via the city) has taken aim on each of the vendors surrounding the building, giving them $1000 tickets for not being in the right areas (too close to the curb or too far from the curb) and the museum saying they’re pushing due to complaints from visitors that “they are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the building and almost impossible to exit at the end of the day.” It also keeps more people eating at the museum’s cafes, but we’re sure the two things aren’t related.

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