Maryan Ainsworth, Álvaro Saieh Curator of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has retired as of December 31, 2020.
The financial repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic at The Met have been very serious, resulting in a $150M deficit. As a result, over 20% of the staff needed to be cut. When a voluntary retirement plan was offered, Maryan and two of her European Paintings colleagues decided to take the plan in order to secure the positions of the younger curators in the department. Because of a job frieze, Maryan’s position will probably not be replaced for two years, when it is hoped that the financial situation of The Met will have recovered sufficiently.
In the meantime, as Curator Emerita, Maryan will continue to work on contract at The Met for the next year or so, thanks to a bequest from the Hester Diamond estate. She hopes to complete the online entries of the Early Netherlandish paintings and a thematic book she is writing to go with them. Currently, she is working on a book on the Van Eyck Crucifixion and Last Judgment.
Maryan Ainsworth was our Curator in the Spotlight in November 2019. You can read all about her 43 year-long career here.