campbell and great things


The man whom the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees voted to hire yesterday as the museum’s next director is not an art world power broker. He is something infinitely more interesting. In selecting Thomas P. Campbell, the curator responsible for the titanic exhibitions of Renaissance and Baroque tapestry mounted at the Metropolitan in recent years, the Board of Trustees has rejected all the usual suspects. They have made a brave and brilliant choice. They have put their trust in a man who knows how to bring the most rarified artistic achievements before an avid, heterogeneous museum-going public. And that is what running a museum ought to be about. Of course, even people who remember standing awestruck before the gloriously woven narratives in the 2002 show, “Tapestry in the Renaissance,” will probably not know Campbell’s name. But that is going to change–and change very fast. There are many reasons to believe that this 46-year-old curator who has just been elevated to the most powerful museum job in the United States is destined to do great things.

more from TNR here.