Power 100

Most influential people in 2020 in the contemporary artworld


Glenn D. Lowry

Museum Director - Director of Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

7 in 2020

  • 20207
  • 20191
  • 201813
  • 201717
  • 201612
  • 20157
  • 20144
  • 20138
  • 20129
  • 20113
  • 20105
  • 20092
  • 20074
  • 20064
  • 20055
  • 20042
  • 200314
Glenn Lowry. Photo: Peter Ross

The coronavirus shuttered nearly every cultural institution across the United States in 2020, creating a cultural and economic crisis that is still rippling through the sector. Lowry’s MoMA wasn’t spared the pain. This time last year, its director was celebrating yet another expansion of the country’s flagship modern art museum – the price tag a mere $450m. Yes, there were critics of the museum’s ambitious collection rehang, but there were cheerleaders too. Then COVID-19 hit. MoMA closed its doors and cut 25 percent of its budget – at $45m. Through some creative moves (buyouts, delayed hirings), Lowry managed to dodge making permanent layoffs (even if he did allow the education department to cut its contract workers). And at the end of the summer he made the brash move to recall all of the museum’s workers and reopen to the public. Again there were critics, but Lowry seems to understand that, whatever privilege MoMA might represent, its mission is to serve the people, and you can’t do that from behind closed doors.

The ArtReview Power 100 is presented by BMW Group Culture

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