The Museum Lockdown Culture

Exactly how busy were museum staffs during six-month lockdowns? Pictured: Casting, Number Two, 1894, by Winslow Homer. Watercolor over graphite on wove paper. (National Gallery of Art/Open Access)
COVID-19 has pulled back the veil on the insularity, elitism, and laziness of far too many museums, which are forgetting that their main purpose is to serve the public.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W hat’s happening to the museum world? I was a museum director for ten years and a curator for years before that. Sometimes I shake my head in bewilderment and chagrin.

The biggest museum scandal in my time, bigger than the Gardner theft (13 works of art stolen, and to this day never recovered, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), is the museum lockout culture that developed during the COVID-19 hysteria. I’ve written about this many times, but it bears repeating and embellishment since there’s so much fallout.

There’s the strangest new dynamic in museums these days. I think it’s infecting the entire

Most Popular

Elections

What Trump Needs to Win

On the menu today: walking through President Trump’s not-so-implausible route to 270 electoral votes, state by state, and taking a look at the gubernatorial races this year -- where GOP candidates from deep red states to a few blue ones are polling considerably ahead of Trump this cycle; and how the country ... Read More
Elections

What Trump Needs to Win

On the menu today: walking through President Trump’s not-so-implausible route to 270 electoral votes, state by state, and taking a look at the gubernatorial races this year -- where GOP candidates from deep red states to a few blue ones are polling considerably ahead of Trump this cycle; and how the country ... Read More

There Is No COVID Plan

The 2020 campaign for president has been surprisingly empty of substance since Joe Biden became the nominee. The Republicans notably didn’t even bother updating their party platform. Donald Trump’s team has spent many of the last days of the campaign making personal attacks, focused on the alleged financial ... Read More

There Is No COVID Plan

The 2020 campaign for president has been surprisingly empty of substance since Joe Biden became the nominee. The Republicans notably didn’t even bother updating their party platform. Donald Trump’s team has spent many of the last days of the campaign making personal attacks, focused on the alleged financial ... Read More