Curator’s Advent. Day 13. The troublesome donor

    Scotch egg without runny yolkScotch egg without runny yolk

The problem donor is like a fancy Scotch egg. Promises loads on the outside, loaded up with pretty (but tasteless) garnishes, yet when you cut into the business end of the egg you are met with a rather rubbery egg with a hard yolk.

Donors who never give something for nothing, for example, like a named gallery, a particular series of exhibitions (that s/he guest curates) or a plaque, or a raft of stipulations about perpetuity, or a direction to purchase certain things for the museum that will be good for the collection, plague the curator on a regular basis. Pressured to accept things that have no place in the museum, in return for some government-incentive backed, tax break-driven cash injection, the curator is often the a lone voice of dissent amongst a cacophony of obsequious kowtowing from colleagues and ‘friends’.