The Education of Tony Marx

11MARX_SPAN-articleLargeJacob Bernstein in the NYT:

EVERYWHERE Tony Marx goes, he does a lot of smiling and nodding. As the president of the New York Public Library (a job he took over in July 2011, after eight years as the president of Amherst), it is his job to smile and nod at big-name writers around whom the library plans events.

It is his job to smile and nod at the business leaders who serve on his board. It is his job to smile and nod at heads of foundation boards, at members of the City Council and officials in the Bloomberg administration, whom he lobbies for money and patronage, since the library (like most publicly financed institutions) has been subject to brutal budget cuts over the last four years.

Anyway, smiling and nodding are certainly what he was doing on an early September evening at a cocktail party for the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art at the Museum of Arts and Design at 2 Columbus Circle, working the room, introducing himself to anyone and everyone, offering tours, giving pats on the back and providing reassurances to people who appeared to be slightly wary of him.

Mr. Marx has had to reassure a lot of people of late.