Skip to main content Skip to footer

Daniel H. Weiss, President Emeritus of the Met, presents the 2024 Ashby Lecture

11 March 2024 College life

We were honored to welcome Daniel H. Weiss as our speaker for the 2024 Ashby Lecture. Professor Weiss, who is the President Emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Homewood Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, spoke about the challenges of leading one of the largest museums in the world.

Photos by Jeremy Peters

Professor Weiss’s talk explored the context for the current environment and the evolving civic role of the art museum, considering the need to balance historic mission with the expectation for greater transparency and new thinking on such issues as cultural property rights and the role of collections, sustainable funding and problematic donors, diversifying audiences and programs, responding to activism and protests, mission-aligned uses of AI and digital platforms, and especially the need for higher levels of public trust. To meet these objectives, the museum must continue to evolve while placing greater emphasis on the ethical components of its civic mission.

After his talk, Professor Weiss was in conversation with Dr Robert Anderson, Director Emeritus of the National Museums of Scotland and the British Museum, to discuss the trials, tribulations, and opportunities provided by leading one of the world’s great museums. The evening was concluded with lively conversation over dinner in Clare Hall.

A full recording of the lecture is available on our YouTube channel.