Why Hasn’t the Boston Globe Hired a New Art Critic?

April 5, 2018

As the hardreading staff relentlessly chronicled, the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-Prize winning art critic Sebastian Smee decamped to the Washington Post last fall, finally landing on the job in early January. Right before that, the Globe posted this ad on multiple media outlets, including ZipRecruiter.

The ad doesn’t specify compensation, but according to the website Glassdoor, “the typical The Boston Globe Art Critic salary is $124,353 . . . based upon 4 The Boston Globe Art Critic salary report(s) provided by employees or estimated based upon statistical methods.”

Nice neighborhood.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, three months isn’t an overlong time when you’re looking for a six-figure art maven, but the Globeniks might want to step on it a bit, given that the Boston Museum of Fine Arts awarded this scoop to the New York Times rather than the stately local broadsheet, as our kissin’ cousins at Campaign Outsider noted yesterday.

Cracking a Cold Case

The F.B.I. extracts DNA from a severed head to help a Boston museum identify a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.

In 1915, a team of American archaeologists excavating the ancient Egyptian necropolis of Deir el-Bersha blasted into a hidden tomb. Inside the cramped limestone chamber, they were greeted by a gruesome sight: a mummy’s severed head perched on a cedar coffin.

The room, which the researchers labeled Tomb 10A, was the final resting place for a governor named Djehutynakht (pronounced “juh-HOO-tuh-knocked”) and his wife . . .

The archaeologists went on to recover painted coffins and wooden figurines that survived the raid and sent them to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1921. Most of the collection stayed in storage until 2009 when the museum exhibited them. Though the torso remained in Egypt, the decapitated head became the star of the showcase. With its painted-on eyebrows, somber expression and wavy brown hair peeking through its tattered bandages, the mummy’s noggin brought viewers face-to-face with a mystery.

 

Namely, his head or hers?

What’s less of a mystery, of course, is why the MFA would have shipped the story out of town.

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Sebastian Smee Jumps From Boston Globe to WaPo

November 22, 2017

Well, the hardreading staff kind of saw this coming.

Back in June, we posed the question Is Sebastian Smee Jumping to the New York Times? based on this piece that the estimable art critic wrote for the Times Arts section.

 

 

Turns out we got the jump part right, just didn’t stick the landing.

From the Washington Post’s PR Blog (tip o’ the pixel to The FlatsOnD Apartments Daily):

Sebastian Smee joins The Post’s Features team

From Features Editor Liz Seymour, Deputy Features Editor David Malitz and Deputy Features Editor Mitch Rubin: 

We are delighted to announce that Sebastian Smee, the art critic of The Boston Globe, will be joining The Post in January as an art critic.

Hiring Sebastian represents an expansion of The Post’s fine arts coverage. He will team with Philip Kennicott to review major exhibits nationwide and report engagingly on the art world for a wide audience. Phil becomes the senior art and architecture critic and will also continue to write cultural criticism.

 

According to the Post’s press release, Smee will work for the paper from Boston starting January 8.

Here’s another date to consider: November 8. That’s the dateline for the Post announcement. But there’s been no mention locally of Smee’s move – which is major, both for the Globe and the Post – until now (it first appeared in a tweet from @FortPointer on Sunday).

Huh.

P.S. Smee still has this profile on his Twitter feed.

Double huh.


Is Sebastian Smee Jumping to the NYT (Part 2)

June 15, 2017

As you splendid readers might recall, the other day we noted this New York Times piece by Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee.

 

And we wondered whether Smee – whose Twitter profile describes him as “Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic for the Boston Globe, on leave in Australia for all of 2017” – was just having a summer fling with the Good Grey Lady or was perhaps setting up housekeeping with her.

So we tweeted him thusly:

 

 

We have yet to hear back from the redoubtable Mr. Smee, but we hasten to point out that his Twitter feed conspicuously features the New York Times review of his book, The Art of Rivalry.

 

 

Not Michael Upchurch’s Boston Globe review.

Draw, as it were, your own conclusions.


Is Sebastian Smee Jumping to the New York Times?

June 14, 2017

As the hardreading staff perused our costly print version of the New York Times yesterday, we came across this piece on Page One of the Arts section.

Wait – is that the byline of the Hub’s own Sebastian Smee, Boston Globe Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic?

Indeed it is.

Which got us to wondering: 1) where in the world is Sebastian Smee, given that his last byline in the Globe was back in December; and 2) has he abandoned Boston for the Big Town.

Smee’s Twitter profile seems to answer both questions.

 

 

Regardless, we’ve tweeted the redoubtable Mr. Smee to ask if he has permanently fallen under the spell of the Good Grey Lady.

We will, as always, keep you posted.


Boston Globe Search Engine a Total Trainwreck (II)

April 7, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, the BostonGlobe.com search box is the ultimate digital black hole.

Exhibit Umpteen: Yesterday the Missus said, “Hey – remember that self-portrait of Ellen Day Hale we saw at the MFA the other day? Sebastian Smee wrote about it today in the Boston Globe.”

So we scurried over to BostonGlobe.com to check it out. And got this from a search for “Sebastian Smee.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.23.14 AM

Seriously?

So we hied ourselves to Google News and got this.

Hale’s magnetic, mesmerizing ‘Self-Portrait’

EllenDayHale_SelfPortrait

There’s blood in that pale, sinewy hand. Blood and resolve. Idle for now, it won’t stay that way for long. It’s poised for action.

The hand belonged to Ellen Day Hale, who painted it herself in 1885.

It’s part of a self-portrait, one of the best in the Museum of Fine Arts, where it hangs in the Art of the Americas Wing, in a gallery devoted to the so-called Boston School.

 

It is, as we’ve come to expect from Sebastian Smee, a thoroughly smart and insightful piece. It’s also a piece you’ll never find via the Globe’s online search engine.

Are we the only ones who think that’s a travesty?

Not to mention an actionable case of media malpractice.

Hey, Sebastian Smee – you feelin’ this?