Sunday, December 13, 2009

MET's Ex-Director, Thomas Hoving, Leaves Indelible Memory

Thomas Hoving, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Director from 1967 to 1977, passed away on Thursday, December 10.  As a child, I remember visiting the King Tutankhamun exhibitions while wondering who made it possible. Through Hoving's efforts, King Tut's tomb became the most popular exhibit in the museum's history and drew more than 1 million visitors in New York (plus another 5.6 million more at five other American museums).  Hoving was known by his peers as one who did anything to make people notice great art.  He ambitiously set out to get New Yorker's attention by hanging huge banners over Fifth Avenue to promote exhibitions.  A native New Yorker, a scholar, an art curator, the city's parks commissioner and a best-selling author, Hoving graduated from Princeton University and earned a Ph.D. in art before settling at the Met in 1959.  When he took over the Met at only 35, he was the youngest director ever to be chosen.  He was a visionary leader who created a department for contemporary works, displaying American artists such as Jackson Pollack, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.  We'll miss you Mr. Hoving, but your legacy and energy lives on for children and adults to enjoy for generations to come. 

Above: Thomas P.F. Hoving, Jan. 4, 1967
AP – FILE - In this file photo of Hoving attending a party in New York

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