Museum of Biblical Art raises its profile amid array of challenges
Our take: The Museum of Biblical Art is one of the pearls in New York City's cultural crown. But the museums future is uncertain right now as its director steps down in July, its main financial lifeline gets cut in 2015 and the museum is dogged by rumors that it will lose its $1-a-year lease on Broadway near Lincoln Center.
When art historian Bruce Boucher wanted to reunite the three panels of a huge 14th-century altarpiece from three different countries, the Italian lender of one of the pieces had one condition: the finished product had to be shown at a big-city museum.
"And of course," said Boucher, director of the University of Virginia Art Museum, "I immediately thought of MOBiA."
It was a high compliment to the small institution in a city that's awash in better-known art museums, and to Ena Heller, the Romanian emigrant with a Ph.D. in art history who has led the Museum of Biblical Art as its founding director for the past 15 years.
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