Making the Mummies Dance: Inside The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Making the Mummies Dance: Inside The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

by Thomas Hoving


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A former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art reveals his bold and brash life at its pinnacle: the clandestine deals which secured blockbuster exhibitions for the museum and made him a legend. Photos.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Kimmelman

Mr. Hoving, as he would clearly be the first to say, is a clever and complex man and there is a great and substantive book to be written about his years at the Metropolitan. "Making the Mummies Dance" is not it. -- New York Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

As director of Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1967 to 1977, brash, energetic Hoving transformed a stodgy, elitist institution into a bottom-line-oriented business enterprise, a modernized, expansive museum that actively engages the public. In this ebullient memoir, Hoving, who is preening and amusingly self-deprecating at once, provides a rare behind-the-scenes peek at turf wars, intrigues, fabulous acquisitions and stormy managerial battles. A highly cultivated man with wide-ranging tastes, this self-described publicity hound copes with eccentric, unpredictable donors, ostrich-like curators and angry protestors; he clashes with Robert Lehman, Edward Koch, J. Paul Getty and Jacqueline Kennedy. Hopping from Paris to Moscow to Cairo, he describes the internal controversies that have erupted over major exhibitions, giving former colleagues and critics their comeuppance. A hectic, entertaining tour of a rarefied world. Photos. Author tour. (Jan.)

Library Journal

Possessing scholarly credentials, influence, friends, and connections, ``wonder boy of the art world'' Hoving was the seventh director of the diverse and dazzling Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1967 to 1977. In this, his fifth book, he colorfully chronicles the behind-the-scenes activities, associations, and dealings in his indefatigable lust to make the Met the ``encyclopedia of mankind's visual genius.'' During his tenure, the Met underwent the most comprehensive growth in its 97-year history. Besides landing collections, ``gallivanting around . . . thinking up exhibitions, raising funds, and recruiting,'' this salesman extraordinaire spent ``heady days dreaming up architectural solutions and dueling political dragons.'' As in King of the Confessors ( LJ 10/1/81), Hoving's style is often self-congratulatory, though he admits what he views as his flaws. With the flair of a spy novelist, Hoving--now a consultant--weaves the tale of his contributions to making the Met ``a household word.'' Recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Vicki Gadberry, Harris Media Ctr., Mars Hill Coll., N.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671880750
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 02/15/1994
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 349,930
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.88(h) x 1.40(d)

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