By Bill Marx
More alarming signs that the Boston Globe‘s arts section is shedding talent. (Perhaps publisher John Henry thinks he will save the floundering paper by cutting cultural coverage to the bone?) First, the sad demise of freelance stage critics — Don Aucoin will review all of the city’s theater productions. And now Pulitzer Prize winning visual arts critic Sebastian Smee is off to the Washington Post. John Carroll alerted me to this November 8 item in The Washington Post:
Sebastian Smee joins The Post’s Features team
From Features Editor Liz Seymour, Deputy Features Editor David Malitz and Deputy Features Editor Mitch Rubin:
We are delighted to announce that Sebastian Smee, the art critic of The Boston Globe, will be joining The Post in January as an art critic.
Hiring Sebastian represents an expansion of The Post’s fine arts coverage. He will team with Philip Kennicott to review major exhibits nationwide and report engagingly on the art world for a wide audience. Phil becomes the senior art and architecture critic and will also continue to write cultural criticism.
So far nothing from the Boston Globe on this: When are they going to tell readers? Don’t they think we will notice that Smee is gone? He is a fine critic. Is the newspaper looking for a replacement? Don’t the editors think anyone cares that Smee is flying off? Let’s see what happens in January, that is when it was announced Smee would be back in the Globe saddle.
Meanwhile, Bostonian lovers of the arts can only look with envy at the Washington Post‘s commitment to expanding fine arts coverage. At The Boston Globe, it is all about shrinkage.