While COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an all-time high, cultural institutions around the U.S. are struggling with limited attendance, racial equality, and revenue losses. To combat this, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will elect two trustees to lead the board for the first time. On January 12, Hamilton E. James, executive vice chairman of investment firm Blackstone, and Candace K. Beinecke, senior partner at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed, will replace Daniel Brodsky, the current chair. Brodsky’s third three-year term was originally set to expire in September, but it was extended through 2020 due to the coronavirus. “These are exceptionally challenging times and the opportunity to have two leaders with strong yet different experiences is a win-win for the museum,” Brodksy says of the transition.
The pair will enter their new roles at a time when the Met projects $150 million in revenue loss through June resulting from the pandemic. To make up for the loss, the museum has made executive pay cuts, downsized staff, reduced programming, and raised nearly $25 million for emergency funding. Beinecke will serve as the first woman chair after being a trustee since 2010, a chairman of the museum’s legal board, and co-chair of the search committee that endorsed the museum’s current director, Max Hollein. James also joined the board in 2010 and has been chair of the museum’s finance panel since 2014.