In 2008, Philippe de Montebello, who had served as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than 30 years, announced his retirement. De Montebello was a revered figure with a flair for working with the board of trustees and for creating blockbuster exhibitions. He had also weathered a controversial exhibit, arranged by the museum's curator of modern art, of Damien Hirst's so-called "shark" sculpture, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. Not long after the shark's installation, de Montello was succeeded by Thomas Campbell, a long-time curator at the Met with a specialty in European tapestry. At a time of financial instability and shifts in museum goers tastes, this appointment appeared a commitment to the status quo. In this case, students explore how this new leader will change the museum's direction.
Case ID: 100404