The TMA collection is splendid, with encyclopedic range and surprising depth. But, sadly, the museum seems intent on making race and grievance, not art, the center of visitors’ experience there. | By Brian T. Allen https://t.co/VYwIT2dZCu
— National Review (@NRO) August 3, 2023
Wow! Read this: Toledo Museum: A Treasure Trove of the Best – But chasing the diversity, equity, and belonging unicorn, it might derail itself
And this: Toledo Is Great on Glass but Disses American History – Its glass collection is superbly presented, but American art is trashed as ‘white supremacist’
The Toledo Museum of Art is getting national attention — but not in a good way. Unfortunately the unflattering critique by art critic, Brian T. Allen in the National Review is right-on. The museum is using its stellar collection to promote a trite, tired and divisive political point of view, reducing great art to the level of mere illustration, targeting the lowest common denominator. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
It’s missing a few points though…. like perhaps the museum has gone all out with their inclusion theme as a smokescreen to cover the bigger picture. They want us to look over here at their diversity theme and not follow the money. Like the questionable sudden selling of the museum’s three great Impressionist paintings for over 61 million dollars and starting a whole new unrestricted fund with it. Taking from Edward Drummond Libbey’s bequest and defying his rules. And who exactly bought TWO of these paintings? Hopefully the Ohio Attorney General, in their current investigation of the Libbey Endowment Trust funds, will uncover it all.
The mayor is a dope
Toledo’s mayor, in a dollop of snark and a show of ignorance, said the museum catered to “Florence Libbey types,” which means a high-society dame, the kind who wear a tiara to weed the orchid patch. It’s safe to say he’s a dope. The museum’s not a colony of the country club. It has cultivated a broad-based appeal and affection. And a mayor shouldn’t trash the thing that adds the most class and cachet to his city. Toledo, after all, isn’t the Paris of Ohio. – Brian T. Allen, Toledo Museum: A Treasure Trove of the Best, National Review
Yes, the mayor of Toledo, Wade Kapszukiewicz, is a dope. And it is safe to presume that this line of thinking was fed to him by the museum’s newly appointed “Brand” department and manager — a man who lives in Colorado! Once you trash the beginnings of the museum, and the Libbeys, and the museum’s history — a museum built by progressive founders who gave the gift of the museum to all of the people of Toledo — the exact opposite of the image that the mayor of Toledo is promoting — it’s easy enough to trash the art inside of it and whisk it away.
As they destroy the museum’s legacy, they can easily sell off the museum’s masterpieces. If they can get away with secretly selling valuable paintings that were purchased with funds from the Edward Drummond Libbey Endowment, a publicly scrutinized trust fund, and move those assets into a secret private fund, or who knows what they do because the public no longer has access, they set a precedent and can keep doing it until the museum has no resemblance to the intentions of the founders.
If they were not going to buy art right away with the proceeds (as per the wishes of the Libbey trust) then why didn’t they simply put it back in the Edward Drummond Libbey Endowment Fund? I’ve read Libbey’s will in regard to the trust and there is absolutely nothing in it that would stop them from putting the money back into the endowment fund.
The wills of the Libbeys make it very easy for the Trustees to do what they think is best — but of course that freedom is predicated on the Trustees’ fiduciary duty. The Trustees are legally required to do their best to act in Libbeys’ stead, but it appears that they are breaching that trust. And they are dwindling the endowment away (check it out for yourself at the Lucas County courthouse — it’s public information) while the museum builds up a private fund. Is there a conflict of interest? Some of the same Trustees of the Libbey Trust are on the Board of Directors of the museum.
While they, to quote the article, “cater relentlessly to Toledans living within a two-mile radius of the museum” and “drag people from their homes to raise that percentage for what is, after all, an ego trip” (but never answer the emails of community members or respond to open letters on blogs, being the hypocrites they really are) they are actually stealing from the people of Toledo.
This happens because the mayor of Toledo, city council, museum board members, donors, members, etc., play along with them (after all, they go to the same parties and have the same lawyers) and they are all such dopes.