Charles Desmarais reports for the San Francisco Chronicle that the Mexican Museum, though it is opening a new building in San Francisco, has no current staff members with any curatorial experience, and has only brought on an art market specialist as a consultant. Read Desmarais in partial below, in full via the San Francisco Chronicle.
A new space for the museum, designed by the prominent Mexican architect Enrique Norten and under construction at Mission and Third streets in San Francisco, is a major step in that direction. But there has been little encouraging news from the art side of the organization in quite some time, and there are currently no staff members with curatorial experience or expertise.
That’s why I took note of an email I received last week with the subject line “New Curatorial Team at the Mexican Museum.” It pains me to report, however, that the news is mixed. Rather than hiring an in-house team of professionals, or even one, the museum has selected Sari Bermúdez — who served from 2000 to 2006 as president of the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico — and the Mexico City firm Estudio Museográfico “to serve as an independent consultant for curatorial programming and exhibit design.”
The use of consultants in the museum world is very common, particularly for an institution undergoing major change. In a phone interview, Chairman Andrew M. Kluger said the institution is seeking advice on the quality of a collection that totals 17,000 works, plus several thousand more being offered by various donors.
*Rendering of Mexican Museum via Ten Arquitectos