It was jarring to see the headline “No More ‘Cathedrals of Culture’” in the August 24 edition of The Wall Street Journal. Judith H. Dobrzynski’s article sketched out the actions planned for America’s art museums, engineered on the inside by a new, forty-something generation of museum leaders at the Association of Art Museum Directors (see also “The Art World: Another Epitaph,” The New Criterion, November 2010).

Why should we care about what happens at AAMD? Because the association has long been held in high regard as a principled authority on cultural matters. The association sets the tone, if not the agenda, for museums throughout the country, large and small, even those outside of its membership. The museums led by the members of AAMD enjoy prestige as some of the most important public institutions in the country. AAMD also codifies the professional standards of museum...


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