The Gennadius Library
Daniel H. Weiss
President and CEO, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
It is something of a paradox that, at a time of rapidly expanding definitions of culture, including the proliferation of virtual experiences, profound social unrest, and the catastrophic consequences of a global pandemic, museums have never been more valued for their purpose or appreciated by the public. This appears to be as true during the period when all museums were closed as it was in months before the arrival of the coronavirus. Throughout the world, museums continue to perform an essential function in shaping ideas, advancing learning, and fostering community. Yet, in order to respect their historic missions while meeting the needs of an ever-changing public in times of crisis and dramatic social change, museums must adapt to new challenges to ensure that they remain programmatically meaningful, responsive to evolving ideas, and sustainable—financially and environmentally. In this talk, Dan Weiss makes the case for the importance of art museums within a civil society for their roles as stewards of culture, places for learning, discovery, discourse, inspiration, and pleasure.
About our Speaker
Daniel H. Weiss, The Met's President and Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for the overall leadership of the Museum, including establishing its key strategic, institutional, and capital priorities. He was appointed to the position in June 2017, after serving two years as the Museum's President.
A scholar of art history and a seasoned leader of complex institutions, Weiss was previously President and Professor of Art History of Haverford College, and from 2005 to 2013 of Lafayette College. He holds an MBA from Yale and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in western medieval and Byzantine art, where he joined the art history faculty and in six years rose to full professor and then chair of the department. Three years later, he became the James B. Knapp Dean of John Hopkins's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. He holds a BA in Art History and Psychology from the George Washington University.
The author of six books and numerous articles, Weiss has published and lectured widely on a variety of topics, including the art of the Middle Ages and the Crusades, higher education, and American culture. His most recent books include Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts (2013), and In That Time: Michael O’Donnell and the Tragic Era of Vietnam (2019). Earlier in his career, Weiss spent four years as a management consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton in New York.
The recipient of three honorary degrees and fellowships from Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Weiss received the Business and Society Award from the Yale School of Management, the Van Courtland Elliott Award from the Medieval Academy of America for scholarship in medieval studies, the Distinguished Alumni Award from George Washington University, and he was inducted into the Society of Scholars at Johns Hopkins in 2018.
Weiss is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the University Council at Yale, and the Advisory Board of the Yale School of Management, and serves as Vice Chair of the Board of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. He is a trustee of the Library of America, The Wallace Foundation, The Posse Foundation, and the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.