Morning Edition on NPR ran a brief remembrance of Thomas Hoving
The New York Times writes the obituary for Thomas Hoving, who died yesterday at 78:
He became its seventh director and, at 35, its youngest. And during his tumultuous reign, the museum did many things it had never done before, often for the better, sometimes for the worse: it formed a contemporary art department and displayed Pop painting alongside Poussin and David; regularly draped the now-familiar banners on its facade to advertise shows; created the enlarged front steps that have become Fifth Avenue’s bleachers; paid $5.5 million for a single painting (the Velázquez masterpiece “Juan de Pareja”) while quietly selling works by Van Gogh, Rousseau and others to help pay for it.
The museum also opened new galleries dedicated to Islamic art, organized a major reinstallation of its Egyptian wing and set in motion an expansion program that eventually resulted in a much larger American wing, a glass-walled addition for the Temple of Dendur, a wing for the arts of Africa, the Pacific Islands and the Americas, and a new southwest wing, now dedicated to modern and contemporary art.
Two years into his tenure, the Met received the largest donation of art in its history, the collection of the investment banker Robert Lehman.A new $7 million pavilion to display it — functioning essentially as a museum within the museum — opened in 1975.
Thomas Hoving, Who Shook Up the Met, Dies at 78 (New York Times)