May 22, 2005 - Art Santa Fe - Philippe de Montebello Lecture
May 22, 2005

Philippe de Montebello Lecture

Philippe de Montebello
“Museums: Why Should We Care?”

Lecture at ART Santa Fe Presents
Friday, July 15, 2005

For ticket information, please contact the Lensic Box Office at 505. 988.1234

Philippe de Montebello, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than 25 years, will lecture in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Friday, July 15, 2005. Mr. de Montebellos address on “Museums: Why Should We Care?” will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of museums in this country and abroad. The lecture, sponsored by ART Santa Fe Presents, takes place at the Lensic Center for Performing Arts, a beautifully restored Art Deco theatre in the heart of the city. ART Santa Fe Presents is honored to have been chosen as the venue for one of only three lectures Mr. de Montebello will give in the U.S. in 2005.

On the same weekend, July 14-17, the sixth edition of ART Santa Fe, the biennial contemporary art fair, will be presented at Sweeney Convention Center, bringing exceptional contemporary galleries to the city from Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Respected throughout the international art community and acclaimed for his dynamic, captivating lectures, Philippe de Montebello is uniquely positioned to speak on the state of the museum world today. Mr. de Montebello was born in Paris, attended French schools throughout the Baccalaureate, graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard University in 1958 and received an advanced degree from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. He became an American citizen in 1955. With the exception of four and a half years he spent as Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, his career has evolved at the Metropolitan.

Under de Montebello’s leadership, the Metropolitan has conducted an outstanding acquisitions program and at the same time has vastly expanded its areas of international loan exhibition and education. The Mets growing audience now numbers more than five million visitors a year. To these visitors Mr. de Montebello is also the familiar and elegant voice of the Metropolitan, guiding visitors through special exhibitions and installations with the use of audio tours that he has narrated for most of his tenure.

In this new lecture, it is clear that Mr. de Montebello feels passionately about his subject. As he explores the deeper meanings of the question “Why should we care?”, he shows us how art is a tangible reflection of past civilizations and traces for us cultural interconnections and similarities. The audience comes away with an enlightened realization that no matter what the state of affairs in the world, art is an integral part of our lives — indeed, an integral part of mankind’s history. Mr. de Montebello’s renown as a witty and perceptive speaker promises to make this an exceptionally compelling and enjoyable lecture.

Among the glittering set of events surrounding the 2003 edition of ART Santa Fe was a Friday evening lecture by Time Magazine art critic and award-winning historian Robert Hughes, who delighted an overflow crowd with his pithy observations on biennials and art fairs. Inspired by the rousing success of the Hughes lecture, the organizers decided to continue the series, establishing ART Santa Fe Presents to bring eminent speakers from the international art community to lecture annually. The announcement that Philippe de Montebello will give the next lecture in the series has generated great excitement among art professionals and collectors in the international art community.

Santa Fe in mid-July is at the height of its cultural season, with offerings ranging from performances by the Santa Opera and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival to special events at several of the citys internationally recognized museums. The city, famed for the richness of its three cultures, the grace of its historic architecture, and the splendor of its surrounding mountains, is particularly beautiful in summer.

For ticket information, please contact the Lensic Box Office at 505. 988.1234. Museum or other groups interested in attending the lecture and the art fair, as well as press representatives seeking information about these events, should contact Sarah Deats (telephone 505.988.8883, fax 505.989.9898, or email You may also wish to visit the fairs web site at

Art Santa Fe
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