The Metropolitan Museum is Art is steadily becoming a contender in the contemporary art scene, notably with last year’s Alexander McQueen show which drew 660,000 visitors.
This move into the 21st century is being hastened by the newly created position of chairman of the modern and contemporary art department.
Sheena Wagstaff, formerly of the Tate Modern, is the first such chairman appointed earlier this year.
To museum professionals and market analysts, the MET’s decision to create a specialized department under Wagstaff means the museum is gearing up to be a game-changer in the contemporary art field.
Wagstaff has stressed that she does not seek to rival or duplicate the collections of the MoMA, the Whitney and the Guggenheim. Rather, according to MET director Thomas Campbell, they can show contemporary art in the context of historical traditions.