National Gallery Brain Drain

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A few weeks ago I posted about the drawn out process to find a replacement for Charles Saumarez Smith, who resigned way back in March as director of the National Gallery in London. Today the London Evening Standard is reporting that the job will go to Nicholas Penny, curator of sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. As I mentioned last month, Penny was on everybody’s short list, not least because he was a former curator at the London museum who had been passed over for the top job five years ago.

Meanwhile, the National Gallery in D.C. can’t seem to catch a break lately. Last spring its curator of modern and contemporary art, Jeffrey Weiss, resigned to become director of the Dia Art Foundation. It was only last month that the National announced that Weiss would be replaced by Harry Cooper, head of the department of modern art at the Harvard University Art Museums. Back to the head hunters for them.

By the way, in that same blogpost from London I also joked about tripping over the crack that Doris Salcedo has introduced as a temporary installation along the floor of the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. I was only joking. I don’t see how anybody could actually trip over the thing. But today I discover that London must be thronged with uncoordinated art lovers.

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