A great Longform podcast interview with New York Magazine's veteran art critic Jerry Saltz. Start listening to it for his enticement of more writing from younger people on their own peer group: stay for where he talks about his marriage to the stellar NYT art critic Roberta Smith. P.S. I hope Roberta has both health insurance and retirement savings.
I spent last week on the Museums & Galleries Australia week-long residential museum leadership programme. I'm still processing it - I went partly to build out my Australian networks, partly to audit the programme on behalf of Museums Aotearoa (New Zealand has no equivalent programme) and partly for my own reflection and (hopefully) growth. Without any doubt, the most valuable part was the day we had with Nicholas Serota, as he walked us through what I think of as the four 'seasons' of his extended tenure at Tate. I'm still processing this, but one of my classmates, Paul Bowers, managed to reflect & write-up on the day: A day with Nicholas Serota.
This McKinsey Quarterly piece was cited by another instructor on the MGA programme: Accidentally agile: An interview with the Rijksmuseum’s Taco Dibbits, in which the director talks about how teams were formed and dissolved around pieces of work for their massive renovation. Reading it, I couldn't help but think that small evolutions look like revolutions in hidebound old institutions, but there's a few nuggets, like having one exhibition team prep the first list of works for a collection hang, and a second team then be charged to come in, reduce it by two thirds, and argue for the inclusion of every object they're keeping.
Nina Simon and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History have released a Community Issue Exhibition Toolkit, based on their own work.
Why Are Antiques So Cheap? Because Everyone Lives in the Kitchen - this NYT piece by Scott Reyburn starts out kinda chintzy, but then becomes really interesting on how families' use of their houses, and accompanying furnishings trends, are changing.
Oof. From the Harvard Business Review: When Boards Broaden Their Definition of Diversity, Women and People of Color Lose Out.
Whereas a mandate of diversity once inspired attention to demographic differences, including gender, race, and ethnicity, it now increasingly prioritizes differences of functional and industry experience. ...
... Attention once oriented toward underrepresented groups (women and racial and ethnic minorities) is increasingly centered on technical attributes, such as experience and skills.
Mandatory proxy disclosures offer plain evidence of this shift. Among the largest U.S. firms last year, less than 45% attended to traditional measures of diversity (for example, gender) in their proxy disclosures. Director and recruiter interviews confirm evidence procured from company disclosures.
One result has been a noticeable slowdown in the rate of appointment of women and other minorities to board seats. Globally, women hold only 15% of all corporate board seats, a mere increase of 2% since 2015. Among large U.S. companies (S&P 1500), women hold just 16% of seats — fewer seats than are held by directors named John, Robert, and William. Moreover, among the premier Fortune 500, women’s share of board seats actually declined by two percentage points in 2016.Thought provoking stuff from art consultant Lisa Schiff: Is This the Victory Lap We Were Hoping For? Why We Must Keep Women and Artists of Color From Becoming the Next Victims of Market Speculation
And finally, tangentially linked to Nick Serota (now chair of Arts Council England) - one of their recent research reports, commissioned from Golant Media Ventures and The Audience Agency, What is resilience anyway?, which has introduced me to the concept of 'bouncing back' and 'bouncing forward'.