Salary issues at museums nationwide got a viral enhance over the previous few weeks when a Google spreadsheet of job titles and wage info, race and gender caught hearth. Michelle Fisher, a curator in Boston, mentioned she and colleagues within the artwork world got here up with the thought over drinks on the finish of May, and he or she put the spreadsheet collectively on her method dwelling that evening.
The spreadsheet now has almost three,000 entries from museums and galleries across the nation, with knowledge together with: an assistant conservator on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with 19 years within the subject ($60,000); a collections assistant on the Philadelphia Museum of Art with 10 years’ expertise ($45,000); and a few curatorial assistants on the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan with salaries of $40,000 to $46,000. The positions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia required a grasp’s diploma, in response to the spreadsheet, and for the Whitney jobs, a grasp’s was most well-liked.
The spreadsheet consists of the pay packages of about two dozen museum leaders, based mostly on publicly out there tax filings, to spotlight what organizers known as the “gulf” between government and workers pay. It reveals museum administrators making almost $700,000 on the Philadelphia Museum and greater than $1 million on the Whitney, which is according to what main museums pay.
The workers salaries on the spreadsheet are self-reported, making it tough to attract conclusions about specific jobs or establishments. The Philadelphia Museum mentioned it “works very hard to ensure that wages and the overall compensation package are competitive.” The Whitney disputed the entry for its curatorial assistants, saying the job pays $50,000 to $55,000, plus time beyond regulation.
But there’s little query that the spreadsheet has introduced consideration to the problem of pay. So the group launched one other spreadsheet final week to doc — and protest — unpaid internships.
“The numbers are all over the map, but one thing is really clear and it’s that they’re small,” Ms. Fisher mentioned. “I don’t know if I could counsel somebody now and say, this is a sustainable way to live.”
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