The Los Angeles Times‘s Suzanne Muchnic writes about the question that’s been on everybody’s mind: where have all of LACMA’s curators gone? Muchnic counts 10 bodies that have left and wonders if they’ll be replaced
The museum’s curatorial ranks have dwindled as key staff members have retired or moved on to new positions. A search for a Chinese art specialist has dragged on for nearly three years, and five curators have left this year or will depart soon. With a hiring freeze in effect, the situation raises questions about how long the vacancies will remain open. […]
“All the main positions will be filled quickly,” says LACMA Director Michael Govan, who adds that the freeze will not prevent hiring people essential to the museum’s programs. Finding a Chinese art curator is a frustrating challenge because there’s a shortage of qualified candidates, and the museum’s less-than-stellar Chinese collection makes it difficult to attract a top-notch scholar, he says. But he expects other key spots to be occupied soon. […] LACMA still has 30 curators, roughly equivalent to the 32 at the Art Institute of Chicago, a museum of similar size and scope. The L.A. museum has not laid off curators while tightening its belt, but Govan predicts that curatorial staffs nationwide are likely to shrink.
“You are seeing downsizing almost everywhere,” he says, “but we plan to fill all the key positions quickly.” At lower levels, LACMA’s curatorial shuffle is not “a one-for-one exchange,” he says, adding that the staff includes relatively recent additions.
Vital Staffers Have Been Leaving LACMA (Los Angeles Times)