The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a new leader

Daniel Weiss (credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Yesterday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art unanimously appointed Daniel Weiss as their new chief executive and president, three and a half months after the previous president and executive Thomas Campbell resigned, according to the New York Times.

Weiss has been with the Met for two years as president and chief operating officer, and was formerly the president of Haverford College. His new position will come with new powers, as the board of directors have decided that his role will be elevated above the museum director, and the director will now report to Weiss, rather than vice versa.

The Met’s loss of Campbell may be the cause for this hierarchical shift, as before Campbell’s resignation in late February, many of the staff members were concerned with his ability to lead, as well as the financial state of the museum. Weiss is expected to fill the space Campbell left and to turn the museum around financially, especially after he announced the museum’s $40 million deficit. Weiss has been there to help the museum through financial rough patches in the past, and the Met board hopes he can be the guiding light to lead them out of this shortfall.

The process to find a new museum director is underway, but some fear that the new subordinate position may ward off contenders.

On the other hand, with Weiss taking control of most of the roles of director, the director will have less to worry about beyond the art, which is, as Weiss puts it, “liberating.” The new director will be completely dedicated to curating the museum, which could attract people who are dedicated to ensuring the importance of the museum’s pieces, rather than people who care about title. Changing up the status quo is necessary sometimes for progress, and Weiss’ new role as chief executive may be different, but his new perspective has allowed him to become well liked amongst the staff. [NYT]