An “intriguing” oral portrait of the people behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Entertainment Weekly)
Using more than fifty interviews, award-winning writer Danny Danziger creates a fascinating mosaic of the people behind New York's magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the aristocratic, acerbic director of the museum, Philippe de Montebello, to the curators who have a deep knowledge and passionate appreciation of their collections, from the security guards to the philanthropists who keep the museum's financial life blood flowing, Danziger brings to life this extraordinary world through the words of those who are devoted to making the Met the American institution it surely is.
With full cooperation from one of the world's greatest art museums, London-based journalist Danziger (The Year 1000) interviewed over 50 individuals who attend to everything from the museum's artwork to its cleanliness, security, flowers and food. The result is a riveting, insightful and often touching group portrait of those who run New York's premier tourist attraction. Because the chapters are organized alphabetically, the story of how an aspiring opera singer became a waitress in the Trustees Dining Room is followed by the curator of European paintings describing how the museum acquired Duccio's Madonna and Child in 2005. Such juxtapositions reflect the varied mosaic of personalities that make up the Met, yet also serve an implicit purpose: to demystify and personalize the institution. Danziger's own curiosity is broad-ranging and infectious, and while the picture that emerges of the Met is overwhelmingly positive, issues such as curatorial bias, racial and ethnic diversity among the museum's visitors and the commercialization of museums are raised. This book is unique, highly enjoyable and will appeal to anyone-from the generalist to the specialist-interested in an intimate and rare view of the Metropolitan. (June 25)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information