Director of Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York
When the sixty-six-year-old director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art expresses an opinion, the artworld takes note. So Lowry’s comments in January on the merits of deaccessioning (that’s ‘selling off’, in non-museum speak) artworks to enable new purchases were widely remarked on. How you get the best out of the art in your care must preoccupy the head of a museum whose collection numbers some 200,000 artworks. So as MoMA undergoes a $450m refurbishment and extension, to open next year, the MoMA collection has been on the road – 200 ‘masterworks’ headed to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, late last year, a similar number headed for Melbourne’s NGV in June. And steering such a big beast has its conflicts: in August, management settled a long-running dispute over pay and benefits with its unionised workers (with accusations of stinginess amid all the wealth), while Klaus Biesenbach, head of MoMA’s PS1 outpost, announced he was heading for LA.