Ending months of fervid speculation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art reached into its ranks on Tuesday and chose Thomas P. Campbell, a 46-year-old British-born tapestries curator, to succeed Philippe de Montebello as director and chief executive.
Visitors at "Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor" an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum that Thomas P. Campbell curated in 2007.
The appointment, effective Jan. 1, was approved in an afternoon vote of the museum’s board of trustees after a suspenseful eight-month search that began after Mr. Montebello, 72, announced plans to retire after 31 years in the post.
Given the profile of the Met and Mr. de Montebello, a patrician presence who presided over scores of ambitious exhibitions and acquisitions, it was the most closely watched search ever in the museum world. The Met’s committee worked so secretively that some trustees and most of the museum’s curators were still unaware on Monday that Mr. Campbell had emerged as the top candidate.
In selecting him, the Met seems to have opted for intellectual heft as well as continuity. Educated at Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Mr. Campbell arrived at the museum in 1995 and built his reputation through much-praised catalogs that were both scholarly and sumptuous, and shows involving complex logistics and diplomacy. His exhibition “Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence” became the sleeper hit of 2002, attracting some 215,000 visitors — more than twice what the museum had projected — with works that had never been seen before in America.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Met Chooses Tapestries Curator to Lead Museum
New York Times