Editors Knew Of Critic’s Board Seat

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Freelance New York Times art critic Grace Glueck, who resigned from her seat on the Clark Art Institute’s board of trustees last week, had informed her editors of her role at the museum in 1995, according to the newspaper’s standards editor, Craig Whitney. The editors at the time, which included culture editor Daniel Lewis, decided the situation did not pose a problem, Mr. Whitney told the Sun, as long as Ms. Glueck did not write about the Clark.

Ms. Glueck resigned from the board after Tyler Green, writing on ArtsJournal.com, suggested the situation was a potential conflict of interest. Mr. Green cited the Times’ handbook of ethical guidelines, which prohibits both staff writers and freelancers from joining “boards of trustees, advisory committees or similar groups except those serving journalistic organizations or otherwise promoting journalism education.”

According to Mr. Whitney, the newspaper’s policy did not apply in its entirety to freelancers until it was revised three years ago. “When we revised the ethics policy and restated it as the code of ethical journalism in 2003, somebody should have seen that this situation was not consistent with the policy, but they didn’t,” he said.

Mr. Whitney said the inconsistency came to his attention when Mr. Green made the ArtsJournal.com post on the matter on June 7th. “When we saw what he’d written, Grace’s first reaction was to resign from the board,” Mr. Whitney said.

Art editor Nancy Kenney declined comment yesterday. Sam Sifton, the Times’ culture editor, told the Sun over the weekend that he would not comment on personnel issues. He called Ms. Glueck a “valued freelancer” and said that the culture desk is “happy to work with her.”

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