A refreshing change to bring in leadership fluent in both the worlds of Art and Technology (not to mention the Business of Museums). As an outsider looking in, it appears Max Hollein brings an incredible work history (including a start at the Guggenheim, and more recently heading the Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco), but just as important a sense of play to the mix.
A slight aside … I work a couple of blocks from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, at a nearby college. This week I stopped by, and while strolling down one of the main corridors looked up to see this perspective of three life-size figures flying overhead with expressions of pure joy. I think Max Hollein would have had a hearty chuckle, as did I! To learn more about this side of his nature, here’s another piece focusing on his nature as both scholar and showman (n.b., for that reason, I decided to include the lead photo from that article here with this post).
For the first time in 60 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has reached beyond its own doors for a new leader, choosing a Vienna-born museum director who is conversant in the old masters, modern art and Minecraft to steer the venerable institution through the digital age.
In his two years in San Francisco, Mr. Hollein has brought significant innovations to the Fine Arts Museums, including Digital Stories, an in-depth look into the museum’s exhibitions, enhanced by multimedia experiences. The museum translated all exhibition materials into Spanish for its exhibition “Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire”; created a Minecraft map of the pyramids there; and offered free online courses to help encourage access for all audiences — not only the young.
While running the de Young in San Francisco, Mr. Hollein added its first contemporary art curator, and he is not risk averse. The museum’s first major show since his arrival, “Contemporary Muslim Fashion,” opening in September, will explore Muslim dress codes and their influence on fashion worldwide. (Mr. Hollein’s wife, Nina Hollein, is an Austrian clothing designer; they have three teenagers.) […]