Members of the Association of Art Museum Directors head to Toronto this weekend for the group's semiannual meeting, Sunday through Wednesday. While they're there, directors will be visiting not only the Art Gallery of Ontario -- which last year opened its new Frank Gehry-designed space -- but also the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the new Burchfield Penney Art Center in nearby Buffalo.
On the agenda: the start of a new strategic plan for AAMD. Matthew Teitelbaum, director of the AGO, chairs the committee. They'll also be talking about the economy and other undisclosed museum issues. (Survival, probably.)
The AAMD exists for the good of its members and not the press, of course, but sometimes our interests overlap. So, when I spoke the other day with Janet Landay, AAMD's new executive director, I made a plea for more and better statistics.
The AAMD surveys its 190 members each year in a State of North America's Art Museum report -- but the numbers it discloses are fairly useless. For example, if you read the report on 2008, you will discover that 20% of respondents increased their acquisitions in 2008 while 15 percent decreased them, and 63% had no change. Is that by number? Value? By what percent did they go up or down? It doesn't say. Ditto for other questions. Here's a link to the last report, on 2008, released on April 30 - you'll see what I mean.
Wouldn't it be useful for the public to know how museums in general and their hometown museum in particular is doing in this climate? MORE>>