Art Market

Pace Gallery furloughed a quarter of its employees in New York.

Justin Kamp
Apr 13, 2020 4:43PM, via ARTnews

Pace Gallery, 540 West 25th Street, New York. Photo by Thomas Loof, courtesy Pace Gallery.

Pace Gallery furloughed 25 New York employees last week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The employees, accounting for approximately a quarter of Pace’s New York staff, were told their positions would be furloughed until at least mid-August, reports ARTnews. Higher-level staff have taken temporary pay cuts as well, though the amount is unspecified.

The gallery’s president and CEO Marc Glimcher, who wrote about his experience of suffering from and surviving COVID-19 for ARTnews, said in a statement:

With a heavy heart we are temporarily furloughing a number of our employees this week, with the strong expectation that we will bring them back as soon as possible. This painful decision came after making every non-personnel related cut we could, which has included drastically reducing the salaries of the most senior people either to the minimum or entirely.

Pace is headquartered in New York, but also operates spaces in Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Palo Alto, and Seoul.

Elsewhere, the Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center announced that it will furlough roughly 80 percent of its staff, starting April 16th, with members of senior leadership taking unspecified pay reductions. The decision came after the institution incurred roughly $1 million in payroll expenses since closing on March 14th. While the museum will place the majority of its employees on unpaid leave, it will still provide health and dental benefits through June.

Cultural institutions everywhere are facing difficult staffing decisions in the face of a pandemic that has upended everyday life for the forseeable future. The Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Guggenheim Museum have all furloughed staff. Meanwhile, Sotheby’s furloughed nearly 200 employees last week, and Christie’s will begin similar furloughs in Europe.

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Justin Kamp