After 31 years as the Met director, Mr. de Montebello has taken on a new role: an educator at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts. He now teaches courses on the history and culture of museums and has created one course that I think is particularly exciting. He tells the NYT this week:
De Montebello explains that he feels the press offers a strongly "anticollecting" point of view that is in favor of source countries and archaeologists and against museums. His course is aimed at offering both perspectives on collecting. [NYT]
And this spring I’m actually teaching a colloquium, which is like a seminar with about a dozen students and another dozen auditors about issues to do with cultural property in which I figure I am an unwitting expert. And I’ve invited a number of people to teach with me so that the students get not only one point of view.
And I’ve told them from the start if you violently disagree with me and you do it in a very well-researched and well-written paper, you’ll get an A. I’m not here to tell my collecting views versus archaeologists’.
I know I would have signed up for that class!