Home Magazine MoMA and others American institutions makes drastic staff cuts amid the escalating global health crisis

The latest news concerning the various layoffs in the United States's cultural sector is scandalous.  The MoMA has dismissed all the employees of the educational department. In short, another example of the American dream ambiguity: suddenly all and nothing!

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According to the Americans Arts agency, the impact caused by the COVID-19 emergency on the United States art world is economically quantifiable in a loss of 4.5 billion dollars, for now. So, to get an idea of the extent of damage, we have to consider that art and culture represent 4.5% of the nation's GDP, with a turnover of 878 billion dollars and a basin of 5 million jobs.  “We have made these decisions with great reluctance as we continue to assess this new and unforeseen landscape and try to forecast the months to come,” Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney, said in a statement. “We are grateful to all our staff for the tremendous diligence and dedication they have shown throughout this time, and to the museum’s board of trustees for their continuing guidance and their financial support of the museum, its programs, and its staff.” (ArtForum)


Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Courtesy Guggenheim


Terrified by these negative numbers the American museums have undertaken the hard way of the cuts to the staff. We are talking about gigantic institutions, such as the Guggenheim of New York, the MOCA and the LACMA of Los Angeles, which had invested $ 750 million for its ambitious restructuring plan, the SFMoMA of San Francisco, which has fired 300 employees. And MoMA, the most important and powerful museum of modern and contemporary art in the world, has also started its layoff campaign. Starting with the education department, whose staff received their last salary on March 30th.

According to another report from the American Alliance of Museums, in the United States institution are currently losing at least $ 33 million per day. And this is a fact but the impression is that the numbers are a bit like the infamous blanket which, if pulled, reveals other numbers: the MoMA's assets amount to 1 billion dollars, according to what was reported in the last statement of incomes. In short, it certainly does not look like a museum with tragic economical problems if we consider that the director of MoMA Glenn D. Lowry, before the COVID-19 emergency had a salary of about 2.2 million dollars, bonus plus or less. But as we already know in these kinds of crisis period who loses more and faster are always small fish. 

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