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Met to close shops, freeze hiring

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, as the most important museum in the United States and in many aspects the world, is a closely watched barometer of what's happening around the art world. So though it comes as little surprise, it's a sign of concern that the museum announced today it would shutter seven of its satellite shops and enact a hiring freeze. From the release posted on its site:

The Metropolitan Museum is a robust institution, but despite its manifest strengths has not been immune to the consequences of this turbulent economy.

The New York Times reports the museum's endowment has shrunk from $2.8 to $2.1 billion (oh boo-hoo, the nation's smaller and more put-upon arts institutions might say). The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which has also instituted a hiring freeze and raised its admission prices, is also obviously not immune to the recession/depression. Let's hope this thing turns around quick.

--Colin Dabkowski

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