Daniel Weiss, The Met’s Pres to step down
Daniel H. Weiss, president and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at the reopening in August 2020 after a pandemic shutdown. Credit: Kena Betancur/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.
Robin Pogrebin, Met Museum’s Chief Executive to Step Down, The New York Times, 28 June 2022
He came aboard in 2015 to stabilize a troubled Metropolitan Museum of Art, led the museum after one director was ousted and then shared power with another. But on Tuesday, Daniel H. Weiss told the museum’s board that he would step down as president and chief executive in June 2023.
“The institution is in a strong and positive place — I’m proud of the work that we’ve done,” Weiss, 65, said in an interview. “I think it’s always best to know what the right moment is. I’m ready to do something else.”
Weiss, the former president of Haverford College and an art historian, said he was unsure what his next chapter would be, though he looks forward to returning to more writing and perhaps some teaching. The board will now evaluate whether to replace Weiss or to abandon its two-pronged leadership structure, which is unusual for art museums and was put in place in 2017.
The model appeared to serve the Met well, with Weiss, as president, serving as the business and administrative leader, while its directors — Thomas P. Campbell, who resigned under pressure in 2017, and Max Hollein, who was appointed in 2018 — provided the curatorial vision and programmatic ideas.
Under Weiss’s guidance, the Met balanced its $310 million budget; turned the Breuer building on Madison Avenue over to the Frick; and moved forward on its delayed Modern Wing, with the help of a $125 million gift from Oscar Tang, a Met trustee, and his wife, Agnes Hsu-Tang.
“Dan brought maturity and empathy to the museum and really stilled troubled waters,” said Hamilton E. James, the Met’s co-chairman. “He got us to financial stability and navigated the place through all these weird curveballs you wouldn’t ordinarily expect.”
Weiss also guided the museum’s decision to change its 50-year admissions policy, requiring out-of-state visitors to pay a mandatory admission fee of $25. Weiss has helped steer the museum through the pandemic, difficult discussions around race and the controversy over Sackler donations.
When Met staff members in 2020 urged the museum’s leadership to acknowledge a “culture of systemic racism at our institution,” the Met subsequently enacted 13 Commitments on Anti-Racism and Diversity, hired its first chief diversity officer and raised funds to underwrite paid Met internships.