Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guggenheim cuts staff as downturn drags on

It’s one of the last major museums in the city to make budget cuts.

By Miriam Kreinin Souccar

The Guggenheim Museum announced today it was cutting 8% of its staff because of the sustained economic downturn.

The museum, which is enjoying record attendance, is reducing its operating budgets for 2009 and 2010 because of losses in donations and its endowment. Officials did not say how much the museum has lost and what the budget reductions would be. However, it announced that 25 positions are being eliminated, though some of those reductions will be handled through attrition.

The Guggenheim is one of the last major museums in New York to cut its budget. The American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have both been forced to lay off staffers.

"As we recognize the 50th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright building, it is sobering for all of us that have had to make these reductions due to the current economic conditions," said Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum in a statement. "We value every colleague and the significant contribution each makes to the success of the Guggenheim."

Correction: The Museum of Modern Art has only implemented a hiring freeze and has not yet resorted to laying off staffers. That fact was incorrect in the original article published June 16, 2009.

via Crain's New York

Photo: Bloomberg News

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