Daniel Weiss, the president and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2015, will step down from his post in June 2023. During his tenure, Weiss steered the Met through a major restructuring of its finances, a shakeup of its leadership, and economic and moral crises ignited by the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matters movement.
“Dan Weiss has transformed The Met,” the museum’s board of trustees co-chairs Candace Beinecke and Tony James said in a statement. “His vision, commitment to mission, and ability to inspire the large and diverse team of Met colleagues are exemplary, and the results speak loudly for themselves.”
An art historian and former president of Haverford College, Weiss was brought in to chart a corrective path for the institution, which in recent years struggled to address financial and managerial deficits.
He balanced the museum’s $310 million budget, raised $1.5 billion in private funds, and swiftly reinvigorated several flagging building projects, including the renovation of the Modern Wing, thanks to a $125 million gift from Met trustee Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang. He also oversaw the transfer of the troubled Breuer building, home to a short-lived Met outpost, to the Frick.
He controversially ended the museum’s 50-year pay-as-you-wish admission policy for out-of-state visitors. The museum cited a need to create a sustained revenue stream in response to a steep decline in the last decade in the number of visitors who paid the full suggested amount of $25.
Weiss provided as a steady presence following the resignation of Thomas P. Campbell, who left under pressure in 2017 amid growing concerns of the museum’s financial viability. Upon Campbell’s departure, Weiss added the title of CEO—formerly held by Campell—to his role, meaning that Max Hollein, who joined in 2018, reported to Weiss.
The co-management seemed to work. Together, they grappled with low staff morale in the wake of Campell’s departure that mounted in 2020 as the pandemic-stricken country grappled with its legacy of racism.
Amid a larger reckoning, the Met, which was shuttered at the time and had recently laid off staff, needed to adequately respond to its systemic inequity. The museum recommitted to diversity and anti-racism training, and hired its first-ever chief diversity officer, Lavita McMath Turner. It also increased its budget for acquiring works by artists of color.
“Dan has led the Museum through unprecedented times,” Hollein said in a statement. “He has been an extraordinary partner, whose wisdom and judgment have set an example for us all. I look forward to working with Dan on the many exciting initiatives we have planned for the coming year.”