Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Private Museums

Bernard Arnault (above, right) has kept schtum about an endowment for the Vuitton museum in Paris. Source: The Art Newspaper

Jori Finkel: Will there be life after death for new private museums? The Art Newspaper, 8 January 2015

From the opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris in October to the construction of The Broad in Los Angeles now set to open this autumn, the model of the single-donor museum is thriving. You’d have to dial back the clock more than a century to the American “robber barons” like Frick, Morgan and Huntington to find another moment in art history when so many great institutions were founded by powerful individuals instead of broader coalitions or private-public alliances.

As also happened during the Gilded Age, critics today have raised questions about these new museums’ devotion to their own communities, whether regarding accessibility or admission fees. But what has not been examined so thoroughly is what will happen to these new institutions on the death of the founder or the decline in their collecting activity.

This issue is especially urgent given the ages of the collectors involved. While Bernard Arnault of the Fondation Louis Vuitton is 65, as is Walmart heir Alice Walton, the founder of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, others who have opened their private art collections to the public are now entering their 70s and 80s.

Read more.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.