It’s not out yet, but Michael Gross’s exposé of the Met Museum, Rogues’ Gallery, has already raised the hackles of its powerful board, which includes Henry Kravis, Henry Kissinger, and Annette de la Renta, whose family history Gross writes about in some detail. At a trustees’ meeting, Met senior vice-president for external affairs Harold Holzer was forced to explain how the book, to be published May 5th, came together. According to the meeting minutes, he admitted that, although the Met refused to cooperate with Gross and “declined to respond to his disobliging queries … some staff and alumni have answered questions.” Holzer also said former director Thomas Hoving is the book’s “official vetter” and that the Met’s lawyers had warned “the museum will not tolerate libel.” Gross says that though Hoving was a “very cooperative” source, he has not read the manuscript, which, incidentally, compares Hoving to “a punch-drunk fighter lurching from crisis to scandal.” Gross also noted that he had to look up the word disobliging. “It means you don’t take instruction well,” he says.
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