Art Critic Resigns From Clark Board

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A freelance art critic for the New York Times, Grace Glueck, resigned from the Clark Art Institute’s board of trustees after a report on questioned her affiliation with the museum. In a Web log entry posted on June 7, a writer, Tyler Green, suggested that Ms. Glueck might have influenced the paper’s coverage to favor the Clark. He called her position on the board “a direct violation of the Times’ own ethics policies.”

Ms. Glueck, who has been under contract with the Times since 1995, joined the Clark board of trustees in August 1992. Prior to that, Ms. Glueck was the art news editor of the Times, a post she left in 1991 – almost a year before she joined the Clark board.

According to the Times handbook on ethics, neither staff writers nor freelancers may “join boards of trustees, advisory committees or similar groups except those serving journalistic organizations or otherwise promoting journalism education.”

Lisa Green, a spokeswoman for the Clark (no relation to Tyler Green), told a reporter at the North Adams Transcript last week that when Ms. Glueck came on as a Times freelancer in 1995, “everyone who needed to know at the paper knew” of her affiliation with the Clark. “It was never an issue on non-disclosure,” Ms. Green said.

In her resignation letter, dated June 8, Ms. Glueck denied wrongdoing and dismissed Mr. Green’s suggestions of impropriety. “This is an insult to the Clark and to my colleagues at The Times,” Ms. Glueck wrote in her resignation letter. “Certainly the high quality of the Clark’s collection, its exhibitions and its acquisitions, its scholarship program, its long-range building projects, and its growing international fame were enough to attract the attention of my savvy colleagues without advocacy by me.And in point of fact, I never acted as an advocate.”

Sam Sifton, the culture editor of the Times, said yesterday that he would not comment on personnel issues. He described Ms. Glueck as a “valued freelancer” and said that the culture desk is “happy to work with her.” Neither Ms. Glueck nor Craig Whitney, the recently appointed standards editor of the Times, could be reached for comment yesterday.

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