Filed under: Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City becomes the latest cultural organization to take a sharper look at its bottom line. Chairman James Houghton recently published a letter on the museum's website outlining the effect of the financial crisis on the museum. The letter states that the museums estimates that its current endowment is around $2.1 billion which is a decrease of 25 percent since June 30, 2008.
The museum is also reporting fewer visitors and fewer patrons at the Met's restaurant and gift shops. A predicted decline in New York City tourism along with fewer members and fewer donations is forcing the museum to take some immediate steps. Some infrastructure renewal programs have been tabled although others including the renovation of the American Wing and new galleries for the Departments of Islamic Art and The Costume Institute are continuing.
The museum had 23 satellite gift stores a year ago but already closed eight and will close another seven bringing the remaining total to eight stores. The museum will focus on its online shop and mail-order business. The Met has also imposed a hiring freeze and is making cuts in staff travel and entertainment and is looking to cut costs wherever possible.With a healthy endowment in its coffers, the Met isn't facing the type of immediate trouble that other smaller institutions are wrestling with but just about every cultural organization is experiencing some sort of adjustment.
[via NY Times]
Gallery: Culture in Trouble