Museum of Fine Arts Developments | Fenway

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
Sorry. Not buying it. I see no continuum with MFA and MOS. One is a world-famous art museum with fabled holdings, the other is a very good museum that caters to kids (and pet lovers, apparently). Honestly, it never occured to me that one could mention MFA and BSO in the same breath as MOS.
Tomb -- I hate to break it to you -- But on: Attendance, annual $ flow, Valud of Physical Plant & Endowment, Desirability on the Board or of being a key outside player / Donor --- all three are at the top of the Non/Not for Profit Institutions in Boston / Cambridge and on the top ? list Globally -- [Note Haaaaaahvd, MIT and the other Great Big U's not included on the following list]

The Cultural Pecking Order around here:
1) [virtual tie] BSO/MFA

3) MOS




4 ......X) irrelevant order -- ICA, Gardner, Baletts, Operas, & all the rest
 

Tombstoner

Active Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
707
Reaction score
1
Basically, I just don't think of the MOS as a cultural institution any more than the Children's Museum (which is not to criticize either). My point is just that MOS and MFA are chalk and cheese. Granted, they are unquestionnably the two premier Boston museums that use the word "of." ;)
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
Basically, I just don't think of the MOS as a cultural institution any more than the Children's Museum (which is not to criticize either). My point is just that MOS and MFA are chalk and cheese. Granted, they are unquestionnably the two premier Boston museums that use the word "of." ;)
Tomb -- I guess we will never see the same MOS

Your MOS is some sort of static kiddy place

My MOS is as much a intellectual challenge and ignitor of curiosity for adults [or if you want the cliche Children of All Ages] as it is fun and inspirational place for young children

The real major difference between the two museums
One has more rocks formed by nature than the other
One has a lot more point objects created by humans the other fewer, but ultimately far more important

Major similarities:
Both attempt in a unique Boston way to put things into context and perspective
Both use hands-on and inquisitive approaches rather than rote and recitation

Both MFA and MOS are Boston Landmarks and also Icons and along with the BSO -- all 3 are world renowned Cultural Institutions
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
Malcolm Rodgers the ultimate architect of the New MFA announces retirement

He will stay on until a successor is selected

I think he should have his name attached in some meaningful way as nearly 1/2 of the MFA either was built or rebuilt while he has been the Director
 

mass88

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
2,032
Reaction score
25
I am not really well read/knowledgeable about the Arts and museums, but is this a big blow to the MFA that he is stepping down?
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,645
Reaction score
1,035
^ I don't know that it's a "blow," he's been there for 20 years and is 65. He wants to give some "young eyes" a look at the museum's future. It will be a loss in the sense that he turned the museum around in a BIG way since the early 90s. He led the expansion, innovation and modernization of the MFA, and tripled their endowment. He'll be missed, but he's not dumping them or anything, just moving on. I would hope the Board of Directors is savvy enough to hire a new director who can mesh with Rodgers's vision.
 

Tombstoner

Active Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
707
Reaction score
1
Rogers was the right man for the job at the time--he's taken the MFA to new heights. That said, there seems to be a lot of curatorial talent knocking around out there (looking at you, Eric Lee--yeah, Boston's cold, but you're ready for the big leagues) and there's every reason to think that the next director will be able to pick up where Rogers left off. It would be wonderful if Rogers was staying in Boston to continue in a backbench position and maybe even sit on the Board--his connections to other museums and to local donors is invaluable.
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
Rogers was the right man for the job at the time--he's taken the MFA to new heights. That said, there seems to be a lot of curatorial talent knocking around out there (looking at you, Eric Lee--yeah, Boston's cold, but you're ready for the big leagues) and there's every reason to think that the next director will be able to pick up where Rogers left off. It would be wonderful if Rogers was staying in Boston to continue in a backbench position and maybe even sit on the Board--his connections to other museums and to local donors is invaluable.
Tomb -- I'm sure Malcolm will get something akin to the Laureate Conductor title that John Williams got when he left POPs or and Institute Professor at MIT

My guess is that Malcolm will be given the title of Director Emeritus and Something of the newly endowed MFA study center to be housed in the old Forsythe Detal building when NU's lease runs-out

This has several benefits:
1) keeps Malcolm around for consultation
2) gives him something to plan -- taking away the need for major day to day management
3) creates a huge opportunity for more fat-cat donations
4) opens up another 1/4 of the Lowell designed part of the MFA for use as exhibition galleries
 

Tombstoner

Active Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
707
Reaction score
1
Tomb -- I'm sure Malcolm will get something akin to the Laureate Conductor title that John Williams got when he left POPs or and Institute Professor at MIT

My guess is that Malcolm will be given the title of Director Emeritus and Something of the newly endowed MFA study center to be housed in the old Forsythe Detal building when NU's lease runs-out

This has several benefits:
1) keeps Malcolm around for consultation
2) gives him something to plan -- taking away the need for major day to day management
3) creates a huge opportunity for more fat-cat donations
4) opens up another 1/4 of the Lowell designed part of the MFA for use as exhibition galleries
First, thanks for not telling me I need to do my homework...
Second, yeah, I think it would be great if he stayed on in an emeritus capacity. I would LOVE to see the MFA utilize the Forsyth Institute (and make parts of it open to outsiders) and expand exhibition space (not sure how much space is left in the Lowell-sections of the MFA--is it available for use? I imagine it isn't just sitting around empty).
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
884
Reaction score
60
First, thanks for not telling me I need to do my homework...
Second, yeah, I think it would be great if he stayed on in an emeritus capacity. I would LOVE to see the MFA utilize the Forsyth Institute (and make parts of it open to outsiders) and expand exhibition space (not sure how much space is left in the Lowell-sections of the MFA--is it available for use? I imagine it isn't just sitting around empty).
The MFA has indicated to Northeastern that it is willing to sell the Forsyth building to NU before the current 10 year lease expires.
 

Tombstoner

Active Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
707
Reaction score
1
The MFA has indicated to Northeastern that it is willing to sell the Forsyth building to NU before the current 10 year lease expires.
That's not what the MFA is putting out there. Rogers just spoke (last week) about his plans on moving forward with creating a center for the study and curation of art from the Forsyth Institute. That said, who knows what skullduggery goes on behind closed doors... Personally, I think it would be a shame to turn such a beautiful building over to NU when the MFA could really use the space.
 

stellarfun

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
4,918
Reaction score
154
Both Rub and Tinterow are in their early 60's, and, IMO, not likely to be candidates to replace a director who is retiring at age 65.
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
The MFA has indicated to Northeastern that it is willing to sell the Forsyth building to NU before the current 10 year lease expires.
Tom of B -- that's an old rumor -- the Forsythe is definitely in the MFA plans as the expansion potential of the main campus is limited without another New American Wing type of fund raising, demolition, followed by construction and related disruption for 10 years.

The only way to move the curators and some storage out of the main building [2 + galleries] is to give them something within easy walking distance that has some character and space -- that's the Forsythe

Right now its not needed as the Lowell addition of the Evans Wing is being fully converted over to the European Dept. and the Behrakis Wing redone to house the Greek, Roman and Egyptian and as yet available for naming $$$ Asian Wing with room for a few more galleries


So I would think that short of a few BofA-scale donations that gallery by gallery process is going to last for another 5 years at least

Of course a major donation of $$$$ or major major donation of art such as Rose-Marie and Eijk Van Otterloo collection and associated library would alter all -- much as the Yawkee Foundation donation rewrote the plan of the MOS for the next decade
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
Well, we have a new Director, Matthew Teitelbaum, formally of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Thoughts?
Stat -- well first coming from Toronto he shouldn't be scared of our winters :)

He also has been here before with Harvard and the ICA and so he's probably got some fairly solid threads among the potential local donors of $ and objects d'art

He's also apparently done quite a good job attracting $ and OdA that's a plus

One surprise is that after so much talk about Asia his specialties are
A scholar of contemporary, European, and Canadian art, Teitelbaum holds a bachelor of arts with honors in Canadian history from Carleton University, a master of philosophy in modern European painting and sculpture from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University.
from the MFA announcement
http://www.mfa.org/news/new-mfa-director


Going out on a limb -- big new fund raising will be soon launched in honor of new director and 150th anniversary of the MFA [2020]
 

PaulC

Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
0
Going out on a limb -- big new fund raising will be soon launched in honor of new director and 150th anniversary of the MFA [2020]
The MFA is in year 2 of a 3 year campaign to raise $200 million. As of the end of January 2015 they have raise $123 million or 62%. Campaign ends July 2016.
 
Last edited:

JohnAKeith

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
4,289
Reaction score
12
I heard a rumor that the staff was happy with the decision and have already found him approachable and easy to talk with. If I had heard otherwise, I probably wouldn't say anything at all.

I like that he's been here before, so he has at least an idea of what Boston can be like. He was a curator the ICA during the Mapplethorpe controversy in the early 1990s so he probably has a good sense of what kind of people he'll be dealing with.

If you hadn't heard, there's apparently a story out there about Teitelbaum's father picketing the Toronto museum at one point (prior to his son's working there, I think), complaining that it didn't have enough contemporary art, or something like that. OH, THE IRONY THAT HIS SON ENDED UP WORKING THERE.

My joke was when the new director arrived in Boston, his first comment was, "So, you've fixed your public transportation since when I was here in 1993, right?"

The guy is 59 years old. I think anybody would conclude he's not here forever. A crowning achievement for him and a great way to build a legacy over a period of five or six years, no? Not just a placeholder - more - but perhaps stay long enough to carry the museum through the end of this campaign, resolve some of the outstanding issues (Forsyth building, the monstrous tower that the college wants to build across the street, re-closing the Fenway and Huntington entrances (joking!)), that sort of thing, then leave the museum in good hands for the next great young genius.

PS. Why not a woman? I don't know. I heard a rumor the selection committee interviewed many people. The MFA has plenty of women working there, and in high positions, so it's not as if it's an "old boy's club". It's practically a matriarchy. And, how cool was it that it was run by a gay man. One who loved America so much he became a US citizen!
 
Last edited:

Tombstoner

Active Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
707
Reaction score
1
I was surprised. I've never heard his name mentioned as a shining star in terms of intellectual/curatorial leadership (and at 59 he's not a wunderkind), and, to read his bio, he doesn't have experience with fund-raising on the scale that MFA requires. So presumably, he is a solid administrator. Quite the dark horse, I thought, but I'm eager to hear his ideas on future expansion (physical and programmatic).
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,588
Reaction score
532
I was surprised. I've never heard his name mentioned as a shining star in terms of intellectual/curatorial leadership (and at 59 he's not a wunderkind), and, to read his bio, he doesn't have experience with fund-raising on the scale that MFA requires. So presumably, he is a solid administrator. Quite the dark horse, I thought, but I'm eager to hear his ideas on future expansion (physical and programmatic).
Tomb, et al

Very interesting stuff in the Canadian press -- seems he's bailing from Toronto by just packing a toothbrush and grabbing a Porter flight to BOS

My guess is that he's here through the SesquiCentennial year of 2020 when he'll be about as old as Malcolm is today

He makes references to essentially the Crowning Achievement of his career and in particular talks about China and India

So perhaps we are in for a new building to house art of Asia -- Probably in the old parking lot

This might be a perfect balance to the Americas on the other end with the old MFA building housing: Europe, Antiquities, Africa & Oceania, and Contemporary with the various special galleries

from the Globe & Mail

Matthew Teitelbaum leaving as head of Art Gallery of Ontario
JAMES ADAMS
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 09 2015, 12:51 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Apr. 09 2015, 10:39 PM EDT

In an interview with The Globe and Mail on Thursday, AGO chair Maxine Granovsky Gluskin said that Mr. Teitelbaum told her of his new job only two weeks ago and swore her to secrecy because it still had to be confirmed by the full MFA board. As a result, there are as yet no mechanisms in place to handle the transition to a post-Teitelbaum AGO – no interim director, no search committee, no outside headhunter and no timeline or date for confirming a full-time replacement.

“But these are early days,” Ms. Granovsky Gluskin said. “Remember, Matthew’s with us until the beginning of July, so this allows some time to put a transition plan in place. … The most important thing is we want to find the right person, the right fit.”

In a brief telephone interview from Boston, Mr. Teitelbaum said it was the MFA that approached him earlier this year about taking the directorship. “If anybody thought I was looking for new challenges and thought it was anywhere other than the AGO, they were mistaken. What I was focused on was the strategic plan which the [AGO] board approved at its last meeting. That was all-engrossing. … I certainly wasn’t talking to anybody until the MFA came to talk to me; I was not looking.”.......

Mr. Teitelbaum said he is going to Boston – a city he knows well, since he was curator of the city’s Institute of Contemporary Art from 1989 to 1993 – for the opportunity to work at an “encyclopedia museum … with a collection and staff … that connects to global issues in a way that I just find completely compelling – the notion of how to activate an Asian collection, how to activate an Indian collection, how to go deeper on early American art and help create a sense of identity through those works. It just seemed to be a set of ideas that were compelling for me at this moment.”
 

Top