Guggenheim Director Rents 'Modest' NY Digs

Richard Armstrong
Richard Armstrong

I've always wondered what it's like to work in a museum and be surrounded all day by beautiful art and objects and then go home to something perhaps less inspiring.

Depends, I guess, on where you live and where you are on the museum totem pole. While curators earn on average between $40,000 and $60,000 annually, many museum directors at prestigious institutions in big cities rake in much more. (Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn Lowry earned an estimated $1.3 million last year including benefits and bonuses -- and that's down from $1.9 million the year before.)

So it was fascinating to see the Wall Street Journal's look inside the somewhat modest space being rented by Richard Armstrong, who took over a year ago as director of the Guggenheim museum and foundation. Not surprisingly, Armstrong had to downsize -- not in square footage but to something "less distinguished" than he had before, according to the Journal (well, he did move from Pittsburgh, where he was director of the Carnegie Museum of Art, and where the real estate market isn't as nutty).

What is the transplanted-to-New York museum director getting for his $8,800 per month on the Upper East Side?