Dear Robb Woulfe,
Congratulations on being named executive director of the Museum of Art and History!
Many art lovers have started lobbying you—some of them publicly—by throwing half-baked constructive criticisms at the direction of the MAH and your predecessor, Nina Simon. Their critiques are based on some vague sense that a lot of what the museum’s been doing hasn’t really been art. But here are a couple things to keep in mind.
One is that unspecific criticisms usually aren’t worth anyone’s attention. Everyone knows that Simon brought in pieces that wouldn’t typically fit in an ordinary museum, and some of them were flat-out awesome. The foster youth show, the “Screaming Hand” exhibit, the papier-mâché mural and certainly “We’re Still Here: Stories of Seniors and Social Isolation” all come to mind. So don’t be afraid to let the museum keep doing mind-blowing shows.
The other is that upper-middle-class white baby boomers generally have more platforms, more connections and more free time to make their voices heard. It does not make their voices more important.