Museums USA

US welcomes rising stars of the museum world

Directors from Asia, South America and Eastern Europe take part in global leaders’ summit at the Met but this year Russian colleagues miss out

Fourteen directors have already arrived in New York for the Met's Global Museum Leaders Colloquium

Museum directors from around the world have been invited to the US to share their experiences, discuss topical issues, network and nurture long-term institutional relations by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. And the Getty Leadership Institute has announced its 2014 list of international participants. While the rising stars from China, India, South America and Eastern Europe will take part, directors from Russia are absent from either event’s list.

Fourteen directors have already arrived in New York. On Tuesday, the head of the Met Thomas Campbell welcomed his fellow directors who are taking part in the institution’s inaugural Global Museum Leaders Colloquium, which he hopes will be repeated if it is successful.

Participants include the chief curator of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, Mohammed Fahim Rahimi, and from China, Liang Gong, the director of the Nanjing Museum. Leaders have also come from India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Singapore, Thailand and South Africa, among other countries. The director general of the Georgian National Museum in Tblisi as well as the head of the National Museum of Poland in Warsaw have travelled from Eastern Europe.

They will meet with more than 50 fellow professionals in the Met and visit other institutions in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC over the next fortnight (until 18 April).

A spokeswoman for the Met says that the absence of a Russian director from the inaugural colloquium has “no connection to recent events” and that the Met hopes “to have Russian colleagues join us in the future”, if this year’s pilot event is repeated.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, the Getty Leadership Institute announced this week the 13 international participants of its 2014 executive programme, four of whom are from China. They are due to join 18 US professionals in June for a fortnight on the Claremont Graduate University campus in California.

This year, the Chinese Museum Association has worked with the institute to make sure the rising stars of China’s museums would apply. “We are delighted with the number of interested applicants and were very pleased to select these four highly qualified candidates,” says Melody Kanschat, the executive director of the Getty Leadership Institute. They include Li Huijun, the head of the museology institute at the Hunan Provincial Museum as well as Guo Meixia a research fellow at the Palace Museum, Beijing.

Kanschat says the Getty Leadership programme did not receive any applicants from Russia this year. The institute has one Russian among its alumni.

The Met’s colloquium is partly funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art while the Getty Leadership programme is funded by the Getty Foundation.

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