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The New Museum Is World Class, but Many Find It a Tough Place to Work

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The New Museum Is World Class, however Many Discover It a Robust Place to Work

“I’ve been compelled to take this motion because of the hostile work atmosphere and tradition of abusive habits that pervades the museum, the dearth of assets and authority supplied to fulfill established objectives,” Mr. Walker, who moved from Miami to turn into the director of growth, wrote in 2016. “The scenario I’ve described to you is insupportable.”

Many former staff say they’d have been completely satisfied to construct careers there, had the circumstances been completely different.

“Administration appears to really feel that turnover is sweet, that they offer folks a begin within the artwork world,” mentioned Lily Bartle, an editor on the museum, who helped set up the union and was laid off in April after lower than two years there. “However the actuality is, individuals are trapped in low-paying positions and are compelled to come back and go shortly. You’d be emailing any individual and notice they’d left weeks in the past. I believe I obtained about 13 new telephone lists in simply my final six months of working there.”

The museum mentioned that it doesn’t have excessive turnover — and that its attrition fee is regular for a museum of its dimension: “Of 68 full-time employees, 25 have been with the New Museum for over eight years and one other 10 for over 5 years.”

Ms. Phillips stays broadly revered by many artists and artwork professionals.

“I’ve identified Lisa for greater than three a long time and assume she is among the most excellent director curators of her era,” mentioned Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Artwork, the place Ms. Phillips spent 23 years. “She at all times places the artists and the artwork first. I do know former and present employees who solely have good issues to say.”

A number of the employees, equivalent to Karen Wong, the deputy director, and Regan L. Grusy, the vice chairman of strategic partnerships, have come ahead in latest days to specific their help for Ms. Phillips. In an interview Jennifer Heslin, a former retail director on the New Museum, additionally described a really constructive expertise. Margot Norton, a curator of 9 years there, mentioned in an e mail that she has had “unbelievable alternatives” that “have been potential because of the mentorship and help of Lisa Phillips and Massimiliano Gioni,” the creative director.

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