Florida Man

The Florida Man of museum scandals just keeps on going. The NY Times now reports the director of the Orlando Museum of Art and the chair of the board of trustees received a subpoena from the FBI for all communications relating to a group of fake Basquiats in 2021, months *before* the museum opened a show of the works. And instead of canceling the show, they covered up the subpoena, and swore the trustee running the finance committee to secrecy, and threatened any museum employee who talked or raised any objections with instant termination, and threatened *via email* the job of the art professor who objected to finding out her name was being used to authenticate the works she had never seen in person. And that is barely a third of wtf is in the latest article. Why did this backwater museum director ride so hard for these blatantly faked Basquiats in the first place, and why did he and his board chair make things a million times worse for themselves after they knew the jig was up?

An Orlando Museum’s Disputed Basquiats Are Gone. It’s Leadership Is, Too [nyt with the hard underselling headline]