Your peer-group professional associations at work

A minor New York museum, the National Academy, plans to sell two paintings. The sale is conditioned on agreement to display the works, and they’re doing it to be able to show more art to more people (like most museums, they have vaults full of stuff that never sees the light of day), indeed to be able to survive as a going institution.

Government art subsidies are going into a very lean period, of course.

If you think managing a collection so more people can actually see more paintings, (or that museums should stay in business rather than close) is a benighted and evil way to behave, you will be glad to know that the Association of Art Museum Directors is on your side, and has waxed apoplectic over the Academy’s shocking idea. It’s a lonely business the AAMD is in, constantly beating back a wave of unwashed philistines who think it matters whether anyone but a curator with a key to the reserves sees a painting. If you want to thank them for protecting you from actually encountering any of the Academy’s sequestered works, you could start with Millicent Gaudieri, the Executive Director: AAMD, 120 East 56th Street, Suite 520 New York, NY 10022, 212-754-8084. The AAMD appears not to have made its peace with email yet.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.