“Bubble” breaks for Cleveland Museum of Art, which lays off 5% of staff

August 13, 2009 · Print This Article

Is The Cleveland Museum of Art the latest casualty of “Museum Bubble” syndrome? The Museum is cutting 14 jobs or 5% of its staff, The New York Times reported, following a story in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.  There have been lots of Museum staff cuts like this one, including, of course, those at The Art Institute, so I’m calling attention to The Cleveland Museum’s situation only because it seems to provide a textbook example–and just the latest one, I should add–of a larger cultural/economic (culturo-economic?) phenomenon, which Ben Davis has described as “The Museum Bubble” for Artnet Magazine. Go read Davis’ piece, if you haven’t already, and decide for yourself if his Bubble argument holds water. I find it pretty convincing, especially when comparing Davis’ analysis to what’s happening in Cleveland. Thoughts?