The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was swift and confusing, with breaking news and information about the virus changing seemingly by the hour. Around the world, art museums, as community gathering sites, have had to face difficult decisions. In this two-part series, six US museum directors discuss the pandemic and its repercussions for their institutions. These candid, insightful conversations address wide-ranging topics, from the logistical challenges of when to close and how to reopen to philosophical exchanges about the role of museums in society.
This episode features Max Hollein of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Kaywin Feldman of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and James Rondeau of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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JAMES CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, President of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
KAYWIN FELDMAN: I’ve thought about how difficult it was to figure out closing the museum down; but it’s much more difficult to figure out reopening.
CUNO: In this episode, I speak with museum directors Max Hollein of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Kaywin Feldman of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and James Rondeau of the Art Institute of Chicago about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on their museums.
The current pandemic forced museums around the world to respond quickly to its rapidly developing effects on their operations, finances, and programs. I recently spoke about the crisis with museum directors Max Hollein of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Kaywin Feldman of the National Gallery in Washington and James Rondeau of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like most meetings these days, this one took place remotely. But their remarks were candid and personal. The situation was and remains fluid, and what it will mean for their respective museums is yet unknown.
This is one of two conversations I had recently with museum directors from around the country about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on their museums. After listening to this episode, I encourage you to listen to part two, in which I speak with museum directors Matthew Teitelbaum of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Annie Philbin of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and Tim Potts of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
CUNO: Max, Kaywin, James, we’re talking under trying circumstances provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for speaking with me this morning on the Getty’s podcast. Kaywin, let’s start with you. How did you first learn of COVID-19?
FELDMAN: Certainly, I first heard about it from reading the news, and heard about it as something going on in China. And it seemed like something very far away and I just vividly recall participating in a panel discussion at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., on February the 24th. And the moderator asked us all what we expected the effect of COVID to be on our institutions.
And I remember sort of looking at him blankly and saying, “Well, I suspect we’ll see fewer tourists, but beyond that, not very much.” And I think back on that day and how I always say that each day, I feel like I was so naïve the day before, as this has all developed.
CUNO: And James, what about you?
JAMES RONDEAU: Similar to Kaywin, I would say, you know, news outlets in January. And obviously, watching even the story shift in emphasis from China into Europe, it still remained something of an abstraction. And so I think I share, in retrospect, the same sense of limit to my imagination that Kaywin just reflected on. And for me at the museum, it was a relatively banal lens in retrospect. And that was Maastricht, in the last week of February, preparing to be with a small group of trustees, and, you know, gosh, nearly ten curators from our staff.
And watching the plans for trustee engagement, staff travel unravel, with concerns for public health, that was, for me, the kind of evolving lens and the point at which we saw escalation, and then immediately pivoted towards staff safety on campus, and then again, moving towards closure. But I didn’t snap to attention, really, until we had to look at trustee and staff travel that last week of February.
CUNO: And by Maastricht, you mean the art fair. So you were all going to be together in the Netherlands.
RONDEAU: Precisely. There was everything from art fair protocols to broad European travel to, you know, large group social experiences. All of those came into very stark focus, through the lens of travel and trustee engagement that last week of February.
CUNO: And Max, what about you? You’re obviously in New York City, which is the— early on, an epicenter of the COVID virus. How was it for you?
MAX HOLLEIN: Yes, New York is an epicenter. Obviously, we were dealing with this already way before. I think for me, professionally, it became really an issue mid-February. And actually, during Fashion Week in Paris. I was there to announce our next major Costume Institute exhibition. And there were some people coming from Milan, from the Fashion Week there. And it was very noticeable that these kind of events cannot happen anymore.
So actually, we took the decision right there, that we are not going to go to Maastricht at all, and cancelled all curatorial trips whatsoever there. And it really kind of kicked in for us, I would say, in the third week of February, to basically kind of completely change our travel schedule, or no travel, and also our preparations to deal with this crisis.
CUNO: Did you have trustees or staff who felt you were overreacting by closing down travel?
HOLLEIN: There were certainly some people who felt we were overreacting, but there was a big relief, actually, from staff and others, that someone is taking a decision and that they basically can go with that decision during a time of very confusing information, imperfect information, and just basically, people don’t really know how to best address it.
And also, I wanted to make sure that people don’t feel pressured, on the other hand, to travel when they are uncomfortable. So we took the decision, okay, no more travel at all, and brought everybody who was traveling at that time, actually, back to New York.
CUNO: It sounds like, for the three of you, that it was a public health issue at the very beginning. Who gave you the information that made you act appropriately? Kaywin, what about you in Washington?
FELDMAN: You know, probably all of us [have] just been sort of learning along the way. Well, I mentioned that it was Monday the 24th of February that I said, “Oh, not much impact at all” on that panel. And by that Friday, we had an emergency response team in place, and we had also cancelled staff travel. So just within a five-day period.
We have a robust emergency team who represent different aspects, of course, of the gallery work. And I’m relying on all of them who are doing their reading and tapping every expert they can find. So, you know, a lot of it at the beginning was all of us feeling our way along the way. And since then, I’m sure like many fields across the country, it’s been really reaffirming how different groups have come together, whether it’s the art museum directors all getting on calls together or here in Washington, I’m in touch each week with the head of the Kennedy Center and the head of the Smithsonian. But we are all learning along the way.
CUNO: James, did you feel like the information you were getting was clear, or was it changing rapidly? Or was it contradictory, even, at times?
RONDEAU: It was changing rapidly. That is certain. From the moment we understood even the decisions we were making relative to staff and trustee travel, vis-à-vis European travel, we understood that a public health issue and an operations issue were converging almost immediately. And for a time, we were resolved to follow City of Chicago and State of Illinois public health guidelines, in terms of remaining open.
We were watching the New York museum decisions very carefully, of course, and learning from them. I was very much involved in peer institutions of scale in Chicago. And for us, that means the science museum, the national history museum, and the aquarium. And we were seeing those three institutions move very quickly towards complete closure. And there were a few days where I thought two things. One is, we won’t do anything until the City of Chicago or State of Illinois public health officials direct us to close.
And the second thing I thought— For a number of days, I tried to cling to this notion and tried to convince my senior colleagues, many of whom, wisely, were not buying it, that there would be an advantage to being kind of the last one standing. I kept trying to channel our kind of civic responsibility and the responsibility of our mission to be— You know, we’ve always been a seven-day-a-week museum. We’re never closed. And to kind of embrace that aspect of our history and our present tense, and really to go down swinging, and not close until we absolutely were directed to.
In the end, March 13th, we got ahead of the City of Chicago guidelines, we got ahead of State of Illinois guidelines, and chose to pivot with our peer group, with a staff-first message, of course, staff safety, and then staff financial security immediately thereafter. But I did have a set of fundamental assumptions which proved to be unsustainable in the very early days.
CUNO: And Max, how about you? How quickly did it become an operations issue for you?
HOLLEIN: Well, I think it really went in phases. I think we all had this moment at the beginning where we all thought, also based on the first information we got, okay, it is like a flu. And then it kind of cascaded from there.
One thing that I want to mention is what I realized very early, actually, was that there is also, like, a dangerous element of xenophobia that’s related to that. We were celebrating, actually, the Chinese New Year at the Met. And we have a lot of strong Asian department, a strong Asian community there. And you could already sense that kind of issue building up.
So then, of course, information was building up. Then it became really an operational issue for us. Honestly, I was really looking also, what are European institutions are doing and looking what’s happening in Italy. And not only Italy, but actually then also in Austria and other places. And we then, as you might know, we took the decision to close the Met by ourselves, basically.
There was no mandate from New York City or New York State. There were no guidelines. We just felt it’s no longer appropriate for us to be open, and it’s not the right thing for the health of our staff and for our audiences. And we were aware that that would then have a cascading effect especially for the other New York institutions.
So I called some of the colleagues of the peer institutions in New York City beforehand, kind of telling them what we are thinking. I would say the majority was not there yet, in regard to their decisions. Which is, obviously, everybody has their own particular way of looking at it. But we really felt we need to make that decision and do it.
CUNO: I know as you’re pondering all the things you have to think about in times of closing big institutions such as yours, that you had to take into account staff members who were foreign nationals, visiting scholars, interns, as well as your own staff who are US residents, but who were abroad at the time. How did you manage to bring everybody back home and/or get back to the places in which they wanted to be? James, what about you?
RONDEAU: So in terms of the logistics, it was relatively smooth for us. And as a corporation, we are a museum and a school. And while I have no oversight, as president of the museum, my co-president of the School of the Art Institute, Elissa Tenny, we report to the same board and share those similar governing structures. So the complexity of the student and faculty population of the school was so much more vast than the complexity of our research and staff angles that we really saw our governance and our support structures pivot to the school. Again, managing primarily the student population, which has significant percentages of foreign students.
CUNO: And Kaywin, what about you in Washington? You have the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts at the National Gallery.
FELDMAN: Yes. And I’m laughing because a lot of our scholars who were what we refer to as CASVA, the advanced study with us, had also experienced our last shutdown, which was the government shutdown just about a year ago. And you can imagine how difficult it is for them to be in a city not their home, and then unable to get into the library that they need. So they’ve been very resilient through all of this. I’d say that actually, in many ways, getting the staff back and sort of centered was relatively easy, once we had clearly established that our number one goal was the health and safety and well-being of our staff. With that as our sort of north star, it’s really helped in decision making and managing to get people back, and then taking care of our people who are all working remotely.
I noted to somebody the other day that I feel like the bulk of my job now is just communicating. I spend all day communicating. But I think that’s what the job is right now, as we have 1200 people all working remotely from different areas, with different responsibilities and needs. But they just need to hear back from the institution, and trying to keep them close to our mission.
CUNO: And Max, how quickly did there become a financial issue for you, and how did you manage that transition from a logistical, operational issue to a financial issue?
HOLLEIN: Well, I think we were very aware that this would be a financial issue. Even before we took the decision to close, we already saw our attendance declining. Because we noticed, maybe a week before we closed, that tourism in New York City is significantly declining. So we saw already a financial impact right there.
And when we then closed the museum, we were fairly quick in announcing what it means for the museum financially, and how we would kind of calculate that impact. Of course it was imperfect information at that point. But we felt it’s important to share the impact or the magnitude of it. And that’s why we kind of articulated that we anticipate the museum losing about $100 million up until the end of the calendar year, through the time of closure, and then after reopening.
And basically, not— the reason for that was really just to make people more aware, not so much only about the Met, but really about the magnitude of the issue also from a financial standpoint, and that it means for us that we have to quickly adjust and get prepared for what’s in front of us.
CUNO: Now, I know that none of you was able to take these decisions yourself, or even with other staff members, take these decisions; that it involved conversations with the board. How quickly did that happen and how easy was it? Kaywin?
FELDMAN: You know, we have one of the smallest museum boards in the country, with just five trustees and four ex officio trustees. And what I found, of course, was that each of our trustees was dealing with their own COVID issues. So whether it was their businesses, their family, their personal lives. They were certainly highly distracted and working on learning along the way, just like the rest of us.
But immediately, they all agreed with it being the right decision to close. And I’d add that the decision to close was difficult for us, as a federal institution, we work with both the administration, and with OMB, the Office of Management and Budget, and OPM, the Office of Personnel and Management, as well as Congress. And this was the first time that we decided to close without being told to close by any of our governing bodies. And so that was a difficult decision, but certainly supported all around, once we made it.
CUNO: Yeah. And James, what about you in Chicago?
RONDEAU: We’re very different from Kaywin, in terms of scale. You know, our trustees, we’re nearly sixty. And so the management of our board and governance as a collective is very, very different. The governance decisions have been unfolding primarily in terms of those one-on-one conversations. Certainly, we have an executive committee of nine trustees. We have suspended the full-board governance, and we’re working exclusively through our executive committee.
But even then, our policy you know is not to pivot towards our governance structures with questions. We try to gather the wisdom of key thought partners in the governance structure to help formulate decisions, and then we pivot back to exec, asking for ratification of concrete sets of proposals. We try to provide the answers and ask our governance structures to support those proposals, with a notion of a clear, strong, articulated vision for how we’re approaching the financial models, the business intelligence, and of course, public health and safety for the staff. So governance remains strong in Chicago; but that model of trying to extract the intelligence in one-on-one conversations, and pivot back with a vision.
CUNO: And Max, how about you?
HOLLEIN: Yes, well, the Met has a large board. It’s over a hundred people, actually. I would just want to add one thing. That I felt—and I still feel during this time now, during this crisis—our board, and several people on our board, are extremely helpful to shape our opinions.
Because it’s interesting enough here, you have an issue that the museum has to deal with that is very similar to the issues that a lot of our board members have to deal with if they’re running big companies or if their business is kind of in a relationship to, I don’t know, hotel business or other things. So here, we can actually really rely on a lot of insight and information, actually, from our board. Quite different to some other areas that the museum usually deals with and where we ask our board for approval, or even for opinion, but where I would say certain board members might not be so deeply versed in the same way that we are.
But here, we are experiencing now something where I would say several of our board members are having to do almost like very similar decisions, and have very similar decision paths for their own areas and for their own companies, as we do now for the museum. So I find right now, we’re learning a lot from our board members, as well.
RONDEAU: And Jim, if I may add something. The first and primary formulation was staff as a priority, before we closed. The second was the notion of after closure, that staff employment security and financial security was a priority. We’re maintaining a commitment to all full-time staff for employment, salary, and benefits through the end of June, which is— we’re a little bit ahead of some of our peers in that, but behind some of our peers in other cases.
That is a stretch, for us to achieve that. Obviously, we’re going to be looking at significant financial challenges. But one of the things in making that decision is that we wanted to convey a message of sustainability and stability. That because of our scale, because of our financial model, we’re able, we hope, to make those commitments and build those bridges to the other side.
We’re not institutions, at our scale, that need emergency relief measures. We’re not institutions that will completely fail because, I think, of our scale. And so as a consequence, the other message we’re trying to send to our trustee population in this moment is there’s absolutely no conversations around fundraising or any kind of solicitation. No modelling or messaging of an institution in distress or at peril. We’re simply trying to message the clarity of our priorities and that we’re in a moment of absolute stewardship; and we’ll return to conversations, if we’re lucky, about philanthropy on the other side of the crisis.
CUNO: For all three of you, how did you announce your closing? How did your characterize it? Did you give a time period for its reopening? Or was it until further notice? Kaywin, we’ll start with you.
FELDMAN: Yeah, the National Gallery, we closed within two days of making the decision to close, and announced it to the staff widely, and then added information to our website. And at the time, I decided that we would close until April the 4th. Which to me, seemed like an eternity. So that was on March the 12th that we made that decision. And I still remember finding out at that specific moment that the Boston MFA had announced that they were closing for a month. And I still remember turning to somebody and saying, “A month? My goodness! I can’t imagine being closed for a month.”
And so of course, it was about two weeks later that we took the banner down saying that we are closed until April the 4th, and have now modified it to say “until further notice.”
CUNO: Yeah. Max?
HOLLEIN: The issue that we had was that we didn’t want to articulate actually at the beginning, what we anticipate, how long this is gonna last, because as I said, again, we were pretty much the first really larger-scale institution in New York City to make that decision. And like Broadway and everything else closed only after that. So we didn’t want to send a disastrous message about everything in New York. So in that sense, we were a little bit careful about messaging how long we think this is gonna last.
CUNO: And James?
RONDEAU: You know, I can’t even remember now, it seems so long ago. I believe we did announce a three-week closure, and then soon began to understand that it was going to be much longer, and pivoted to “further notice.” And we really were mindful to get out of the business of a kind of notion of a rolling reopening date in our messaging. So there was that one; and then, like I think almost everyone in our peer group, we pivoted to ‘further notice.’
CUNO: And as you think about reopening at some point, are you thinking about announcing it and then acting on it or are you gonna maybe make a decision, then make another decision, make yet another decision?
RONDEAU: We had a Zoom call earlier today with our peers, through the structure of the Association of Art Museum Directors. And that’s a weekly standing Zoom call of art museum directors, and they’re broken up into subgroups by scale of institution. We’re all engaged in coordinating within our locales, within the case of the three of us, in large cities, we’re coordinating as a national group. But one of the things we brought up in the conversation is really struggling with what the message of reopening is.
I think we have a slightly different conversation in Chicago. The model that we’re trying to test is that staff returns when the public returns. Other than essential frontline staff, we wouldn’t bring the staff back, I think, until we’re inviting the public back. I think the notion of public health and safety should be symmetrical. I think our most important job when we reopen is to try to rebuild public trust, public trust in shared social spaces, and to understand that the art museum experience is productive and safe and secure and rewarding.
And so I’m worried. I’m worried, like everybody, about everything. But I’m worried about anything partial. I’m worried about opening and closing on cycle. I’m worried about embracing a cycle if we understand it to be almost inevitable. We’re saying 80% likely that if we reopen, we’ll wind up closing again. So we’re trying to formulate not when we reopen, but how. How structurally, we are able to message and begin that journey of rebuilding public trust in shared spaces. So I’m really not so concerned about when it is or how we message, but what we’re able to deliver as a reopened institution.
CUNO: And is it something that one’s taking into account the local authorities and the local protocols, or is it a national authority, national protocols on this?
RONDEAU: Again, like Max in New York, Chicago was ahead of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. I can’t imagine we could begin to contemplate return until we have those actual official endorsements. I think in this case, we’ll certainly have to follow, not lead. And it may be they’re ready for us to consider it before we’re ready to consider it ourselves.
CUNO: And Kaywin, what about you, as a national museum?
FELDMAN: Yeah, it’s super complicated because, of course, we have to follow any federal mandates. And then in terms of local, we have, you know, what we affectionately call the DMV, the District, Maryland, and Virginia. And we have different stay-at-home orders in all three of those locations, and our staff lives in all three locations. So it’s going to be difficult managing all of that. But of course, the staff’s safety and well-being and that of our public will be what really drives the decision.
We do think that we’ll bring staff back a couple of weeks before we open to the public, just so we can get everything ready to go. But we are talking about staggering that, so that we have some staff in a couple of days a week and some staff in other days, so that we don’t have a crowded office building whenever it is that we reopen.
I’ve thought about how difficult it was to figure out closing the museum down; but it’s much more difficult to figure out reopening. I think we’re all in the sort of same position, trying to figure out the processes and the procedures, and then all of the health and safety rules, the new kinds of rules we’ll need to follow once we are open again.
CUNO: For each of you, how quickly did you go from managing an emergency to developing an opportunity for building deeper, stronger, more lasting relations with members, for example, or with the public? Max?
HOLLEIN: I always have a difficulty kind of saying, “Okay, this is all an opportunity.” I think first and foremost, this is a big crisis. And it is a huge challenge, not only for us, but actually— I mean, for everyone around us. Our thinking was really about, okay, safety, sustainability, actually, helping also New York and New York hospitals, for example, by providing masks and equipment. Also helping smaller New York City institutions who are suffering certainly way more significantly under these financial issues, etc.
So then along the way, of course there are certain things not only that you need to address, but where you can come out after this crisis as maybe even a better institution, in some ways. I think one of the most interesting developments that we are seeing right now is that currently, there is an audience building up that learns so much about how you can absorb and receive digital information. Whereas before, I would say a lot of our digital platforms were a little bit more for a certain kind of age group of an audience. And that has already completely dissolved. And that’s gonna stay with us for the time after the closure. And it’s a huge tool for us to further disseminate all the educational offerings and many other things, as we’ve done already before. But now this audience has dramatically widened.
We also see a great opportunity for us because our audience is gonna become, at least percentage-wise, way more local than before, in at least the first two years after the reopening. And that’s kind of an interesting new way of interacting with an audience that will be way more diverse to repeat visits and will embrace the institution wholeheartedly. I think that there’s another huge opportunity there.
This is more like a personal observation, but I find right now, with everybody being at home and being at home alone, so to say, and working from home, the whole institution became way more collaborative than it was before. So there is, of course, a huge opportunity right there. And we— I am experiencing the institution becoming way more collaborative than it was before, more nimble, and in some cases, even quicker to adapt and to kind of initiate.
CUNO: James, have you seen some similar such changes at the Art Institute of Chicago?
RONDEAU: Yeah, I mean, I think I certainly share Max’s notion that the idea that there’s an inflection point between managing crisis and creating opportunity is a notion that we all need to be scrutinizing. If anything, there may be a continuum. But I think I’m with Max in continuing to privilege the crisis management, rather than the opportunity creation.
We’re all talking about remote learning, we’re all talking about digital access. You know, access to our blogs on our website is up 326%. I mean, fantastic. But these are opportunities I’d rather not have. So I’m not sure that we would define it as cleanly as that slide from crisis to opportunity.
But I also want to agree with Max. What I’m seeing is the radical potential for how we work and how we office. And obviously, we’re all learning about remote; that seems pretty straightforward, and we will continue to work remotely. But there is a notion of collaboration, of speed, of efficacy, of solidarity that we’re seeing. And I can’t imagine returning to 100% conventional models of how we staff, what our hours are, how we relate to working families and their needs at home, individuals who are working with elder care.
So how we office, how we respect our staff, how we understand flexibilities and creative solutions to officing, these could be lasting legacies that we benefit from. But I’m still seeing the glass pretty powerfully half empty, rather than half full.
CUNO: Yeah. Kaywin, what about you?
FELDMAN: I would certainly agree with everything that Max and James have said, and see both the same challenges and maybe ultimate good things that could come out of the challenges that people have faced. The thing that I would add to the list, as well for us, has been improved communications, out of necessity. And we actually closed two days after I celebrated my first-year anniversary at the National Gallery of Art. And something that in all of my initial conversations with staff, after first arriving, that kept coming out was that we needed to do a better job of communicating. Particularly internally, but also externally.
And we’ve, out of necessity, learned how to do that better. Our team has really come together. There’s greater teamwork and transparency and care for one another. I worry the most about the folks who are at home who can’t telework. Their jobs don’t enable them to do that. And I want them to know that they are just as appreciated and valued, and want them to remain just as connected to the institution as those who are having daily meetings together.
And so you can’t rely on those casual moments at the water cooler or, you know, sticking my head in offices along the way. And so we’ve gotta be more deliberate about communication. And I think that’s been a positive change for the National Gallery.
RONDEAU: There’s one thing that I’ve been thinking about and trying to formulate. I’m struggling with how we figure out, as we prepare for return, when we can prepare for return, how we do not position ourselves as art museums in a place that’s in opposition to this idea of a world in turmoil. You know, that we don’t return to the notion of our institutions as places of quietude or retreat or solace—although we can be those things, of course. How do we try to make clear that we want to return to what we’ve always been? And that is, we’re all contested sites. How do we participate? How do we return as a full civic partner to rebuilding notions of shared social space? Not just for art museums, but for our cities and for our world.
HOLLEIN: I agree with this being not only an issue or something that we need to think about. The one thing that I’m thinking, honestly, in the first couple of months after our reopening, it still is gonna feel very different as a museum, as a museum visit, than what you usually, and what we in the future want our museum visit to feel like, with everybody wearing masks, with no tours being able to be done, with no lectures that we can do, all sorts of things. I think we still have a phase in front of us where, let’s say, the way how we’re gonna reopen is not gonna be the way how we want, in the longer term future, the museum to be really experienced.
I mean, it will be a proper experience, but it will be— there will be still a lot of things missing that we all feel is part of a museum experience and a museum environment and the way how we want to present ourselves also as a museum. That’s what I’m, not worried about, but that’s what I feel, and that’s what we have to kind of sometimes even message moving forward.
CUNO: Well, I want to thank all of you for participating in this podcast discussion about this because it’s given us a great regard for the leadership that art museums, such as yours, are benefitting from with your leadership. So we want to thank you so much for the work you’re doing, and thank you for participating in this podcast discussion. So thank you.
HOLLEIN: Thank you, Jim.
FELDMAN: [over Hollein] Thank you, Jim. Yes, thanks.
RONDEAU: Thank you.
CUNO: This episode was produced by Zoe Goldman, with audio production by Gideon Brower and mixing by Mike Dodge Weiskopf. Our theme music comes from the “The Dharma at Big Sur” composed by John Adams, for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2003, and is licensed with permission from Hendon Music. Look for new episodes of Art and Ideas every other Wednesday, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms. For photos, transcripts and more resources, visit getty.edu/podcasts/ or if you have a question, or an idea for an upcoming episode, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening.
JAMES CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, President of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
KAYWIN FELDMAN: I’ve thought about how difficult it was to figure out closing the museum down; b...