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Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Danny Danziger

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While I enjoyed reading about the perspectives of various Met employees ranging from a janitor to the CEO himself-- especially the curators, who tended to discuss their specialties with a passion -- I was a bit suspicious about how happy and contented each featured person seemed to be with their jobs. My suspicions were confirmed when I began reading Michael Gross's "Rogue's Gallery" in which the book's introduction states that Danziger was forced to whitewash some of the interviews before "Museum" was published. Who knows for sure what all is true and accurate as far as employee satisfaction goes, but "Museum" is still a good way to learn how a museum works behind the scenes. I hope to visit the Met in the near future, myself. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Apr 7, 2015 |
Substance: Vignettes of Met employees, derived from personal interviews. Wide range of positions, from janitor to director. All very short, but contain some flavor of the enterprise. ( )
  librisissimo | Aug 31, 2014 |
This is a wonderful book. I love the Metropolitan Art Museum and found it fascinating to go behind the scenes. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has visited the Met! ( )
  Whisper1 | Apr 18, 2008 |
This was an intriguing take on learning about a museum - examining not its collections, but its people. And some of the most interesting stories came from the non-curators. The perspective of the head of fire safety, the florist, the docent - all fascinating. Though of course the fixation of each curator on their area of specialty was interesting as well. Very enjoyable - should make my next visit even better.
  timepiece | Mar 25, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067003861X, Hardcover)

A unique oral portrait of the Met, drawing on interviews with everyone from the director to the security guards

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the greatest museums in the world. It is an enormous place that takes up five city blocks and has more than two million square feet of space, filled with treasures everywhere the eye can see. There are exquisite vases, jewelry, tapestry, baseball cards, Egyptian mummies, sculptures, and furniture, and many of the most famous and recognized paintings in the world, from Van Gogh to Rembrandt, Monet, and El Greco.

But this famous institution, which attracts four million visitors a year, is not just about objects. This is a place that is supported and maintained by people, which is what this wonderful book celebrates. In the fifty-two interviews in Museum, we meet some of the people who have given their lives to making the Met the success that it is. We are introduced to curators with endless knowledge who look after the collections; as well as cleaners; florists; police and security staff who maintain and secure the building; plus the philanthropists and millionaires who donate their money for new and wonderful art works, including well-known people like Henry Kravis and Annette de la Renta.

Danziger has a rare touch for getting just the right detail, and these interviews are informative, moving, and compulsively readable. Oral history at its best, Museum will appeal not only to the millions who visit the Met every year, but also to anyone with an interest in museums and art.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:23 -0400)

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Interviews with cleaners, curators, trustees, security officers, the director and many others associated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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