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Remembering Thomas Hoving's Decade At The Met

During the 1960s and '70s, Thomas Hoving spent a decade as the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hoving has been credited with transforming the museum from a somber monolith into a friendly and exciting place. Hoving died Thursday of cancer at his Manhattan home, according to his family. He was 78.

In 1993, Hoving spoke with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about his memoir, Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the book, Hoving goes into detail about the "battleground" behind the calm surface of the institution. The Met is probably the richest museum in the world, with 3 million works of art and artifacts that span 50 centuries in its collection.

Hoving was also the editor in chief of Connoisseur magazine and wrote several books, including Art For Dummies, American Gothic and Master Pieces: The Curator's Game.

This interview was originally broadcast Jan. 15, 1993.

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