In a season of major budget cuts and layoffs in the public arts, donors to museums like the Met should consider their reasons for giving and whether they are hurting the museums they fund.
"For museum executives, the dirty secret of expansions has been that they are often motivated by the need to have some exciting new thing to rally board members and interest potential patrons. These institutions depend heavily on rich people to fund them. Those rich people like to pay for flashy new buildings; no one wants to donate to boring old museum upkeep.
New institutions like the Broad, financed by billionaire Eli and his wife, Edythe Broad, and other "ego-seums" illustrate that the people with the money are increasingly interested in funding their own institutions. Consequently, traditional museums have to be ever more aggressive with new projects just to win their imaginations, and their dollars." - Ben Davis, The New York Times