Hoving, Thomas Pearsall Field

Hoving, Thomas Pearsall Field,

1931–2009, American art historian, museum director, and public official, b. New York City, grad. Princeton (B.A. 1953, M.A., Ph.D. 1959). He joined (1959) the Metropolitan Museum of ArtMetropolitan Museum of Art,
New York City, founded in 1870. The Metropolitan Museum is the foremost repository of art in the United States and one of the world's great museums. It opened in 1880 on its present site on Central Park facing Fifth Ave.
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, becoming curator of the CloistersCloisters, the,
museum of medieval European art, in Fort Tryon Park, New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was opened to the public in May, 1938.
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 and the medieval art department in 1965, but left that year to become New York City's parks commissioner. An activist administrator, he initiated Central ParkCentral Park,
840 acres (340 hectares), the largest park in Manhattan, New York City; bordered by 59th St. on the south, Fifth Ave. on the east, 110th St. on the north, and Central Park West on the west.
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's revival and other reforms, then returned as the Met's director half a year later after his predecessor died. Passionate and often controversial, Hoving doubled the Met's size; initiated blockbuster loan shows, e.g., the "King Tut" exhibit (1978), that increased attendance; secured magnificent collections from donors and spent lavishly on masterpieces of art, e.g., Velázquez's Juan de Pareja and architecture, e.g., the Temple of Dendur; and greatly expanded museum marketing and merchandising. After retiring (1977) he served as a television art correspondent (1978–84) and arts magazine editor (1981–91). He also authored more than a dozen books.


See his memoir (1993).

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