Met’s Long-Serving External-Affairs Chief, Harold Holzer, Scales Back to Work on Writing Projects

Mr. Holzer. (Courtesy

Via an all-staff memo, we’ve learned that Harold Holzer, the senior vice president of external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has chosen to “modify some of his responsibilities to enable him to engage more fully in his work as a historian and writer.”

According to the memo, which was sent by the Met’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, and its president, Emily K. Rafferty:

“The good news is that we will continue to have the benefit of Harold’s leadership in the areas of strategic communications, government relations, and public affairs, including the multicultural audience development initiative. Moreover, he will remain in his current role while we conduct a search to identify candidates for a new position overseeing external and internal communications, marketing, and visitor services.”

“Oh, right I still have to deal with the press until January,” Mr. Holzer joked when reached by phone Monday afternoon. “I just think we all agreed that this was a good time to relinquish some of my administrative responsibilities and help the museum transition into a state-of-the-art marketing program in the future, using all of the technologies that are becoming widely available.”

He said he will continue serving as chief spokesperson for the museum on institutional matters and governmental relations, as well as briefing the museum president on strategy and major projects. The search for a new candidate will begin this summer in the hope of finding someone by the first of the year. Mr. Holzer will be directly involved in that process.

Mr. Holzer, who joined the museum in 1992 as its chief communications officer, is a prominent scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He said that he has scaled back in part because “it gives me an opportunity to more formally and painlessly do the other work I do, which is write and lecture on Lincoln and the Civil War, which looks like it’s going to continue being a hot commodity through the end of the sesquicentennial in 2015.”

Met’s Long-Serving External-Affairs Chief, Harold Holzer, Scales Back to Work on Writing Projects