Daniel Weiss (art historian)

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Daniel H. Weiss
DanWeiss photo.png
President and CEO
CEO of Metropolitan Museum of Art
In office
February 28, 2017[1] – Present
Preceded byThomas P. Campbell
President of Metropolitan Museum of Art
In office
March 10, 2015[2] – Present
Preceded byEmily Kernan Rafferty
President of Haverford College
In office
Preceded byJoanne V. Creighton
Succeeded byKimberly W. Benston
16th President of
Lafayette College
In office
Preceded byArthur J. Rothkopf
Succeeded byAlison Byerly
Personal details
Alma materThe George Washington University (B.A).
Yale University (M.B.A)
Johns Hopkins University (M.A., Ph.D)

Daniel Weiss is an American art historian who is the president and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Weiss graduated from The Wheatley School in 1975,[4] George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences with a B.A. in psychology and art history in 1979.[5] In 1982 he graduated with a master's in medieval and modern art from Johns Hopkins University and subsequently, in 1985, obtained an MBA from the Yale School of Management. In 1992, he returned to Johns Hopkins and obtained a PhD in Western Medieval and Byzantine Art[6] and a minor in classical Greek art and architecture.[7]


After obtaining his MBA he joined the management consultancy Booz, Allen & Hamilton in New York. He left in 1989, to obtain his PhD degree and afterwards started working at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he served as history of art professor and department head from 1992 to 2001 and as dean of faculty from 2001 to 2002.[6][8]

From 2002, Weiss was dean of Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.[9]

From 2005 to 2013, he then served as president of Lafayette College.[10] In 2016, the college named their new black box theater in William C. Buck Hall for Weiss and his wife, Sandra.[11][12] From 2013 to 2015, he served as the president of Haverford College.[13]

Metropolitan Museum[edit]

Weiss was appointed the president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2015.[14] In 2017, he was named as the museum's president and chief executive officer.[15] His appointment as The Met's top leader received attention in the museum community, as the higher-ranking role in a museum is traditionally the Director.[16]

During Weiss' tenure, the museum set attendance records for three years straight.[17] Following high operating deficits, which led to staff cuts, the Museum improved revenue and set fundraising records, and has said it will have a balanced budget by 2020.[18]

When Weiss arrived at The Met, he discovered the museum faced significant operating deficits, so he chose to sequence large capital projects the Museum was planning. He moved ahead with renovations of the skylights over the European Paintings galleries, and paused the modern wing project.[19] After The Met made progress on balancing the budget, Weiss announced moving ahead with major renovation of galleries covering art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas.[20][21]

Weiss advocated for changing The Met's admissions policy for the first time in 50 years[22]—which was controversial, and has ended up being described as highly successful.[23][24][25]

Weiss was the first leader to speak out on several important issues touching museums, including the Trump administration decision to pull out of UNESCO.[26] On October 12, 2017 Weiss voiced, on behalf of the museum:

"President Trump's decision to withdraw from UNESCO undermines the historic role of the United States as a leader in this effort and weakens our position as a strong advocate for cultural preservation. Although UNESCO may be an imperfect organization, it has been an important leader and steadfast partner in this crucial work."[27]

Weiss has also taken positions on Saudi funding,[28] in the wake of the murder of The Washington Postjournalist, and funding from the Sackler family.[29]


In 2016, Weiss received a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from George Washington University.[5]

In 2018, Weiss received an honorary degree from Ithaca College,[30] the Leadership and Society Award from the Yale School of Management,[31] and the Centennial Medal from the Foreign Policy Association.[32]

Additional affiliations and memberships[edit]

Weiss serves on the Board of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.[33] He is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Posse Foundation, the Library of America and of the Advisory Board of the Yale School of Management.[34][35]


Weiss has published different books and in June 2017, signed a contract with PublicAffairs for his new book "In That Time: A Story of Loss and Reconciliation in the Era of Vietnam".[36] The book will be published in November 2019.


  • Art and Crusade in the Age of Saint Louis
  • The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible
  • France and the Holy Land
  • Remaking College[37]


  1. ^ "Metropolitan Museum's Director Resigns Under Pressure". 28 February 2017 – via NYTimes.com.
  2. ^ "Daniel H. Weiss Named Next President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art". TheMet. March 10, 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  3. ^ van Riel, Prof.dr Cees B.M. (October 30, 2017). "Ranking The World's Most Admired Art Museums, And What Big Business Can Learn From Them". Forbes.
  4. ^ "Glad news". www.wheatleyalumni.org/. The Wheatley School Alumni Association. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  5. ^ a b "GW Arts & Sciences Fall/Winter 2016". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  6. ^ a b "Jewish Art Historian Takes the Reins at Met Museum". The Forward. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  7. ^ "Curriculum Vitae: Daniel Weiss". Arts & Sciences Magazine. 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  8. ^ "Johns Hopkins Magazine -- November 1999". pages.jh.edu. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  9. ^ "Former Johns Hopkins student, faculty member to lead New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art". The Hub. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  10. ^ "Daniel H. Weiss Biography · The President · Lafayette College". president.lafayette.edu. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  11. ^ "New College Theater Will be Named for Daniel and Sandra Weiss". liveconnected.lafayette.edu. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  12. ^ "New College Theater Will be Named for Daniel and Sandra Weiss · News · Lafayette College". news.lafayette.edu. July 11, 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  13. ^ Greifeld, Katie (March 10, 2015). "President Weiss to Step Down in July". The Clerk.
  14. ^ Kennedy, Randy (March 10, 2015). "Metropolitan Museum of Art Names New President: Daniel Weiss". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Popera, Ashleigh (June 23, 2017). "Daniel H. Weiss Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of The Met". Architect Magazine.
  16. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (June 13, 2017). "Met Museum Changes Leadership Structure". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Smee, Sebastian (July 5, 2018). "Met sees highest attendance ever — even with new admission fees". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (November 16, 2017). "With Big Gift and Tighter Oversight, the Met Gains Solid Ground". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (January 11, 2017). "The Metropolitan Museum Will Delay a New $600 Million Wing". The New York Times.
  20. ^ Gibson, Eleanor (November 18, 2019). "The Met announces $70 million renovation of Africa, Oceania and Americas galleries". Dezeen.
  21. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (November 18, 2018). "Met's Leaders Move Ahead With Modern and Rockefeller Wings". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Freeman, Nate (January 4, 2018). "Met to Charge Mandatory $25 Admission Fee to Out-Of-Towners, Ending 'Suggested' Rates". Artnews.
  23. ^ Vartanian, Hrag (January 8, 2018). "Met Museum President Daniel Weiss Answers Questions About the New Admissions Policy". Hyperallergic.
  24. ^ Kreinin Souccar, Miriam (January 4, 2019). "Met Museum attendance, revenue up a year after imposing fee". Crain's New York Business.
  25. ^ Moynihan, Colin (March 18, 2019). "Met Admission Fees Will Send $2.8 Million to Over 175 City Cultural Groups". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Harris, Gardiner; Erlanger, Steven (October 12, 2017). "U.S. Will Withdraw From Unesco, Citing Its 'Anti-Israel Bias'". The New York Times.
  27. ^ "Metropolitan Museum of Art Issues Statement Against U.S. Decision to Pull Out of UNESCO", BY Alex Greenberger, 10/12/17. Artnews journal. [1].
  28. ^ Sopan, Deb (October 18, 2018). "Met and Brooklyn Museums Will Not Use Saudi Money for Programs on the Middle East". The New York Times.
  29. ^ McGlone, Peggy (March 26, 2019). "As more museums say no to Sackler donations, family trust halts its giving". The Washington Post.
  30. ^ https://www.ithaca.edu/ic-news/releases/ithaca-college-to-recognize-three-with-honorary-degrees-50152/
  31. ^ "Indra K. Nooyi '80 and Daniel H. Weiss '85 Honored by NYC Alumni Chapter". Yale.edu. November 20, 2018.
  32. ^ NYSD Staff (November 5, 2018). "The Foreign Policy Association celebrates 100 years". New York Social Diary.
  33. ^ "Kress Foundation | Trustees and Staff". www.kressfoundation.org. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  34. ^ "Speaker Details: Art Leaders Network 2018". www.nytartleadersnetwork.com. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  35. ^ "Yale SOM Board of Advisors". Yale School of Management. 2013-05-26. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  36. ^ "As if He Isn't Busy Enough: Met Museum Head to Write Book". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  37. ^ "Haverford and Swarthmore Presidents Explore Change and Opportunity at Liberal Arts Colleges". Retrieved 2018-11-14.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Arthur J. Rothkopf
President of Lafayette College
Succeeded by
Alison Byerly
Preceded by
Joanne V. Creighton
President of Haverford College
Succeeded by
Kimberly W. Benston
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Emily Kernan Rafferty
Metropolitan Museum of Art by Simon Fieldhouse.jpg
President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Succeeded by