New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced the election of two co-chairs to head its board of trustees– the first time two people have shared the role. The museum also elected a woman to the top position for the first time in the institution’s history.
Candace K. Beinecke and Hamilton “Tony” E. James will begin their duties as co-chairs on January 12. Beinecke, a senior partner at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed, has chaired the museum’s legal committee since 2011. James, the executive vice chairman of the investment firm Blackstone, has led the museum’s finance committee. The co-chairs will replace Daniel Brodsky. Brodsky’s three-year term as chair was set to expire in September, but extended due to the pandemic.
These appointments come at a time when the Met is projecting $150 million in lost revenue and has cut staff, programming, and executive salaries. The Met laid off eighty-one workers in April. In a second round of cuts in August, seventy-nine employees were laid off and 181 were furloughed. The museum has also faced recent criticism for failing to adequately address the institution’s history of racism in its 150th anniversary exhibition and for a workplace culture hostile to Black and POC employees.