Robin Pogrebin raises the important question surrounding the resignations of four board members of the Miami Museum over the decision to name the institution after Jorge Pérez: why now?
Museum officials say they’ve been surprised by the community reaction to the name change, though they caution against exaggerating the response. The change, after all, they said, was approved last week by a vote of the museum board; of the 35 members present, only 4 voted against, with 1 abstention.
Thomas Collins, the museum’s director, said the institution was fortunate that Mr. Pérez, a trustee, stepped up to take a lead role in its $220 million capital campaign to bolster its endowment and construct the new building, to be completed in 2013. Mr. Pérez’s $35 million gift includes a pledge of $20 million, along with $15 million worth of Latin American art, which he collects avidly.
“He has been part of the governance and leadership of the institution,” Mr. Collins said. “He has made a major commitment of fine art to the museum. Institutions have been named for people who’ve done just one of those things.”
Resisting Renaming of Miami Museum (New York Times)