Three days after the New York Times
published an exposé
outlining complaints by female subordinates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
against Joshua Helmer, he departed his position as director of the Erie Art Museum. At age 31, Helmer had been one of the youngest museum directors in the country prior to his ouster on Monday afternoon.
The Times investigation detailed allegations about Helmer’s actions during his four years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Reporters spoke to nine women who claimed Helmer made advances toward them while at work. Four women said they had entered into relationships with Helmer, and two had reported directly to him, which violated the museum’s policy; one woman described being told she wasn’t “smart enough to work at a museum,” while others reported crying and vomiting from stress and being berated by Helmer in view of other employees.
One of the women who dated Helmer and later received a promotion from him told the Times: