Farnsworth Art Museum lays off 4, orders unpaid furloughs

Posted June 07, 2010, at 9:10 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Cost-cutting measures at the Farnsworth Art Museum have resulted in staff members being laid off and others being required to take time off without pay later this year.

Four staff members at the Farnsworth were laid off on Friday, May 27, and later this year full-time salaried staff members will be required to take a week’s worth of furlough days.

The positions of curator of historic sites, manager of Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists, the chief of security and the assistant manager of the Museum Store, making up 6 percent of the nonprofit’s staff, were eliminated as a cost-cutting measure, according to David Troup, communications officer with the museum.

“This is a decision prompted entirely by financial limitations,” said Troup. “Like the vast majority of American museums, however, we unfortunately are not immune to the past year’s stark financial circumstances.”

The historic sites, including the Homestead on Elm Street and the Olson House in Cushing, the Museum Store and Julia’s Gallery will continue to operate as they do currently, utilizing existing staff.

In a press release dated May 28, Troup stated that some future programming will be postponed until the museum’s economic situation looks a little brighter.

“We have trimmed expenses and will postpone some new program initiatives,” the press release read. “In the months ahead, we will continue to work with our board and staff members to adjust and adapt to economic conditions as we move forward. These steps, while challenging, also provide the opportunity for new thinking, innovation and focus that will result in a stronger, more effective museum.”

For information on the Farnsworth Art Museum, which on June 12 will open an exhibition featuring new works from the painter Alex Katz, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.

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