The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that it has elected two co-chair to lead its board of trustee for the first time, and one of them, Candace K. Beinecke, will be the first woman to take the top role. Beinecke, a senior partner at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed, will share responsibilities with Hamilton “Tony” E. James, the executive vice chairman of the investment firm Blackstone. Beinecke and James take up their positions on 12 January, and succeed Daniel Brodsky, a real-estate developer who has served as the board’s chair since 2011.
Beineke, who has chaired the museum’s legal committee, and James, who has been chaired the finance committee, will be taking the helm at the Met following the museum’s reduced programming, staff layoffs, and executive pay cuts that all came in the wake of a projected $150m revenue loss resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Adding to that, widespread protests across the country this summer spurred criticism about a lack of diversity in museum leadership and “toxic philanthropy” linked to museum boards.
“These are exceptionally challenging times,” Brodsky told The New York Times, “and the opportunity to have two leaders with strong yet different experiences is a win-win for the museum.”