Taking On a New Role

My association with the New Art Examiner dates from 1980. I walked into its offices at 230 East Ohio to offer my services as a writer. I wanted to put my journalism background to use studying what is termed “The Art World.” And co- editor, Derek Guthrie (along with Jane Addams Allen) had just the assignment: an ongoing trial in Chicago District Court against the executive leadership of the George F. Harding Museum. Quite a tale of art world shenanigans and a great introduction to the larger topic of museum ethics. Art museums, their directors and operations have been my specialty ever since.

For the past two years, I have returned as the U.S. Editor of that publication because I believe in Derek Guthrie and the New Art Examiner’s mis- sion: to shine a light on art world practices and provide an independent, critical corrective to the mainly fawning coverage of the art press glossies. It has been a highly satisfying challenge to help breathe new life into an acclaimed publication that folded in 2002. I enjoyed assembling a new crew of writers, determining coverage with the editorial team in Chicago and England, re-establishing contact with the Chicago art community. It is now time for me to transition into a new role.

This issue marks my final contribution as U.S. Editor. It’s been a good ride. With the next issue, I will become Senior Editor. This decision is prompted solely by the need to devote more time to other writing opportunities. However, I will continue to contribute to the magazine, continue choosing worthwhile art-related books for review and act as a recruiting scout for new talent.

The New Art Examiner has been my gradu- ate school introduction to a fascinating world. It has been my privilege to have met many fine people among the director and curatorial ranks. I have seen museums evolve dramatically, taking on new roles and responsibilities over the last 35 years. For the most part, I’ve been impressed at how their leaders have steered that voyage yet ready to write critically when they fell short.

Thank you readers for welcoming us back to Chicago. Please continue to show your support by subscribing and making needed donations. Ours is an effort that demands a great deal of sweat equity and passion. Help us overcome those economic hurdles so we can become the art publication this city so richly deserves.

Tom Mullaney

Volume 31 number 3, January / February 2017 pp 9

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