Wayne Clough’s tenure as secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and his ambitious agenda for the world’s largest museum and research complex are the subject of a Wall Street Journal profile.
In Mr. Clough’s four years in office, a generally dismal period for raising money for arts and culture, the Smithsonian has brought in $684-million in private support, including more than $200-million this year. He is overseeing numerous building projects, from a new panda habitat at the National Zoo to construction of the $500-million National Museum of African-American History and Culture, slated to open 2015.
The 70-year-old civil engineer and former Georgia Tech president is also aiming to shake up the institution’s internal culture, getting the institution’s 19 museums to work together more quickly and cooperatively. Some major exhibitions take more than a decade to plan and remain in place long enough to become out of date, according to the Journal.
The article examines controversies during Mr. Clough’s term, most notably his removal of a controversial video from a 2010 National Portrait Gallery exhibition on sexual identity in art, and successes such as securing the space shuttle Discovery for the National Air and Space Museum.