Laurie Nash, consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, discusses the museum director candidate pool in "Help Wanted," June 2010 Art & Antiques.
The job of museum director has gotten a lot harder of late, and the country’s top institutions are chasing a small pool of superstars to guide them through uncertain times.
In the old days, most directors of major art museums could settle in and look forward to decades-long tenures. The job was unique and prestigious—the qualifications were a background of serious scholarship as a curator and the ability to be a reassuring pillar of the community—if a little sleepy at times.
Fast forward to 2010: Museum directors are hustling more than they ever had dreamed they would have to, grappling with the perils of the Great Recession and with increasing demands on their time. Boards of trustees are antsy, demanding awesome fundraising prowess from their titular leaders, as well as budget cuts.
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