We’ve told you on more occasion how much we enjoyed Michael Gross‘ tell-all book about the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogues Gallery, but we’d been wondering, since the book came out, what the reaction was to it by the Met and those within its cultural circle. Fortunately, we have Claire Zulkey‘s recent interview with Gross for her site (full disclosure: this writer is married to her). If you’ve read the book, remember hearing how badly the Met wanted to shut it down, or just like hearing about the rich and powerful getting their feathers ruffled, you’ll really enjoy reading the first half of the interview, where Gross goes into how the book was received. Here’s a bit from the beginning:
I certainly heard from Annette de la Renta, or rather her lawyer at a big scary firm. They apparently thought they could squish the book like a bug, but were quickly reminded what country we live in. And both the museum and its new director commented, too. The museum called the book “insensitive and misleading.” And Thomas Campbell called it “a sardonic mixture of gossip and sloppily recounted fact that takes cheap pot shots at the Museum’s dearest and closest supporters.” I promptly said that if the truth hurt anyone’s feelings, I was sorry, but it was their own damned fault for not talking to me–after all, it’s a taxpayer supported institution, filled with art the public owns, occupying a building and land owned by the people of New York–but they seem to not think that matters!