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9 Sunshine executives

Prior to joining the ROM, Josh Basseches was Deputy Director of the Peabody Essex Museum, in Massachusetts, described on its website as, “A Museum of Art and Culture.”

During an interview soon after his appointment in 2016, he said how he was working for his PhD, on the history of art and architecture, “My focus has been on 19th and 20th--century art. That’s the area of my greatest interest…”

He went on to say that, “One of the things I do look forward to is thinking about the ROM as really quite a singular institution…We really cut across art, culture and nature… And that’s where I think a lot of potential lies”

Significantly, since he became director, the new heading of “ART CULTURE NATURE” appears on the ROM website, proclaiming the new direction.

With a focus on art there is obviously no need for as many curators, which explains why the curatorial ranks have declined so much during the last several years. Meanwhile, the administrative staff has escalated into a bureaucracy, negatively impacting the workplace.

On checking the Sunshine List for 2023 I found that the Director’s annual salary was $536,171, considerably more than the Prime Minister of Canada earns!

He has four Deputy Directors, one earns $327,162, two each earn $312,162 and one earns $174,689. At the next level down are six Chief executives, four each earn $225,036, one earns $213,316, and the other $211,175.

The sum total for these eleven top executives is just under 3 million dollars, equivalent to the combined starting salaries of 45 curators.

Basseches’s quotes are from:


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