Late last Thursday the New York Times reported that between 1995 and 2003, a trust created by David Rockefeller and Agnes Gund paid Glenn Lowry, the Director of the Museum of Modern Art and one of the best compensated museum officials in the business, a total of $5.35 million in unreported funds*, in addition to his 1.28 million dollar yearly earnings. You don’t have to be a financial whiz to know that this represents fairly shady business practice, and that Lowry’s position may well be in jeopardy. And well it should be. Since when should a museum pay out additional sums of money to a director without making that information available to the public?
It would appear that in the mid 90’s Lowry’s trust allowance was much bigger than in recent years. The New York Times sources a supplemental document found on guidestar.com, a website that provides data on nonprofits, which MoMA provided to the IRS upon their request on January 5th 2007. The Times doesn’t list the amounts allotted to Lowry by year, but in case you’re interested in doing a little number crunching, I’ve listed the amounts made available on guidestar.
2000 $ 50,640.70
2003 $ 35,000.00
2004 $ 0.00
2005 $ 0.00
2006 $ 0.00
Assuming the total number of additional unreported funds received is correct, this means that Lowry received about 4.56 million between 1995 and 1998 from the trust. I’m not sure this is really breaking news, considering most of this information is already in the Times article, but for those of you who find any numbers news, the above breakdown should be appeal to those senses.
*Unreported funds speaks only to what the museum submitted prior to Jan. 7th 2007. Not surprisingly, The New York Times reports that Mr. Lowry paid income taxes on the money he received from the trust. Evading personal income tax is a very quick way to get yourself in trouble.