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June 30, 2015

Leaders' Pay Hits New Heights at Big N.Y. Arts Institutions

The top executives at the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Metropolitan Opera, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and American Museum of Natural History earned more than $1.2 million each in 2013, according to a Wall Street Journal review of tax filings from a dozen major New York City arts groups. Perks and performance bonuses pushed the top payouts to new heights, the Journal writes.

Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn Lowry took home $3.4 million, nearly five times his base salary, and bonus and incentive pay accounted for a quarter of the 2013 compensation for Reynold Levy, then-president at Lincoln Center. While such payouts have raised eyebrows among cultural centers' workers and sector observers, big arts institutions say they are justified by the combination of artistic or academic expertise, fundraising prowess, and managerial skill needed to run the institutions.