Charles Saumarez Smith runs the Royal Academy in London. He points out in the Guardian that Britain has produced an impressive group of instutional leaders from its arts organizations and, perhaps, these leaders should be looked to for future leadership:
Although every airport bookshop is piled high with self-important autobiographies of successful businessmen and women, there is very much less analysis of what makes a cultural leader. It is not as if the world does not need them. I was recently invited to a conference in Hong Kong to discuss a new cultural quarter in West Kowloon. The government has invested about £2.5bn in cultural facilities. What became clear is how little knowledge there is as to how to make best use of this gigantic public investment and how much will depend on the person appointed to be in charge.
The same issue is evident in Abu Dhabi, where a new island of cultural institutions is being created out of what is currently a mud flat. There will be a new branch of the Louvre. There will be a new version of New York’s Guggenheim Museum, but approximately three times as large. The question is being asked: who is going to run these institutions? What is going to be put in them? How are they going to be displayed?
The Plutocrats Aren’t So Patronizing Now (Guardian)