Jewish Art Historian Takes the Reins at Met Museum

Historians in the News
tags: Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new president is an MBA-toting medieval art historian who links his relentless curiosity and academic passions to his Jewish background.

Dr. Daniel Weiss, who will replace Emily Rafferty in the top administrative job at one of the world’s leading — and largest — arts institutions, told the Forward he grew up “in a culturally Jewish family with no religious tradition, but with a serious interest in ideas, history, and issues of justice, as I have been in my own scholarly and professional interests. It was an environment with lots of Jewish values.”

A onetime management consultant who rose to become president of Haverford College before accepting the Met position, the Newark-born Weiss began his career managing museum shops at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A Yale MBA, Weiss then joined management consultancy Booz, Allen & Hamilton in New York.

Leaving to pursue art studies, he earned a PhD in Western Medieval and Byzantine Art before landing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “What makes my appointment unusual is the fact that I have significant experience as an art historian and a working scholar,” Weiss said. “It’s a happy marriage.”

After leaving Hopkins as a dean, he became president of Haverford College in 2003, continuing to teach and publish in journals like Art Bulletin, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Jewish Art; his books include Art and Crusade in the Age of Saint Louis (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and The Morgan Crusader Bible (Faksimile Verlag Luzern, 1999). ...

Read entire article at The Jewish Daily Forward

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