A review of the latest Forms 990 of more than two dozen of America’s biggest museums identified the most highly compensated executives in the field. Among these museums, annual compensation ranged from $228,000 to $1,822,257 and the average was $727,000. Seven directors earn more than one million dollars per year, as follows:
The Smithsonian Institution has more than $3 billion in assets and had more than $168 million in income for its 2012 fiscal year, making it the biggest and strongest museum in America. It’s also the leader of the handful of American museums that have more than a billion dollars in net assets, according to the latest financial reports available through GuideStar. At the top of the list of America’s wealthiest museums are:
Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
Museum of Fine Arts Houston (Texas)
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Virginia)
Museum of Modern Art (New York)
This is a nice trivia question for the next museum reception but what does it mean? First of all, the size of the museum isn’t based on Continue reading →
Philanthropy 400 is the Chronicle of Philanthropy‘s annual list of the 400 groups that raised the most funds from private sources. For 2011, these groups achieved a median 7.5-percent increase from last year, the third straight year of median gains for non-profits in the Chronicle‘s rankings. That’s amazing considering the depths of the recession that affected most charities. “Giving USA” said that charitable giving overall grew less than one percent last year. About $1 out of every $4 donated by individuals, corporations, and foundations goes to these top 400, so what can we learn from them?
The lessons are a bit hard to uncover given the wide diversity of organizations represented on the list, primarily universities, social services, and health/medical,, followed closely by religious, youth, and education. Topping the list are: Continue reading →
Taliesen, Spring Green, Wisconsin, 1932. Drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns and operates Taliesen and Taliesen West–the homes and studios last used by Frank Lloyd Wright–has transferred its architectural archives of papers, drawings, and models to the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The collection includes more than 23,000 architectural drawings, about 40 large-scale, architectural models, some 44,000 photographs, 600 manuscripts and more than 300,000 pieces of office and personal correspondence. “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to serve the public good by ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Given the individual strengths, resources and abilities of the Foundation, MoMA and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and the best public access.”
The decision to transfer the collections couldn’t have been easy for the Foundation–it’s a significant part of their identity with tremendous historical and cultural value. Admitting you can’t care for a collection is difficult–but organizations should regularly ask themselves if they’re the only ones to do this work and if someone else can do it better. It’s especially tough at historic sites and house museums–they typically have the most complex collections management issues of any museum. Not only are they caring for Continue reading →
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, holds “The Farm,” one of Joan Miro’s masterpieces and its provenance makes for a great story as told by Jim Conaway in “Getting the Picture” in the May 2012 issue of Washingtonian. Here’s a glimpse into its complex history when the painting was owned by Ernest Hemingway and slated for an exhibition loan:
Alcohol–and his own vituperation–was catching up to Hemingway by 1959, when, then on his fourth and final wife, Mary, he agreed to loan “The Farm” to the Museum of Modern Art. Hemingway was nervous about exposing the painting to the hostilities stirred by Fidel Castro’s revolution while trying to get it out of the country [Cuba]. He insisted that the museum insure “The Farm” and send an emissary to squire it back to New York, but no company would issue such a policy.
Hemingway finally agreed to let the museum’s emissary, David Vance, take the painting, but he ran into roadblocks: Continue reading →