It was a rough weekend in the museum industry this weekend. First, Chicago’s Field Museum announced that, due to those now-all-too-familiar financial woes caused by the recession, they would be “offering early retirement and buy-out incentives,” in hopes of cutting at least 50 employees from their payroll, according to the Chicago Tribune. This comes after a much larger cut at the start of the economic collapse, when the museum let go nearly 100 staffers. For those who decide they’re not ready to give up their jobs, the museum certainly won’t be letting slide that easy, telling the newspaper that additional layoffs might be necessary if they don’t reach that count of 50.
A thousand miles away, a smaller museum is also having troubles, though much larger than the Field’s in comparison. Las Vegas’ Liberace Museum has announced that, after 31 years in operation, it will be closing its doors on October 17th. Citing dwindling visitor numbers due to an increasing lack of awareness of the singer-songwriter’s music, career and personality, the institution’s board (part of the Liberace Foundation) decided that it could no longer continue to bleed money to keep the 11,000 square foot museum afloat. The Review-Journal reports that for the last twelve years, it’s been struggling and “they had to dip into their endowment” to help it stay open. The Foundation will remain in place and they hope to try things like getting traveling Liberace exhibitions in play.