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Citing Financial Troubles, Munich’s Haus der Kunst Scraps Upcoming Joan Jonas Exhibition

Munich’s Haus der Kunst has been forced to cancel a forthcoming Joan Jonas exhibition after it failed to secure enough funding to mount it. The survey of the American performance artist’s work, which is currently on view at Tate Modern in London, was set to travel to Munich in November.

According to the Art Newspaper, the museum claimed that the cancellation was due to “a difficult financial situation stemming from management errors of the past.” The beleaguered institution has faced financial problems for years. In addition, the museum has experienced a number of other issues ranging from sexual harassment allegations to a suspected infiltration of Scientologists.

In an effort to overhaul its business model, Stefan Gros was hired as interim commercial managing director in 2017. In the newly created role, he was responsible for helping director Okwui Enwezor—who, citing health reasons, stepped down from his post in June—lead the museum by taking control of the fiscal planning.

Earlier this year, the Bavarian culture ministry appointed Bernhard Spies, the former managing director of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and an experienced crisis manager, to take control of the institution’s finances. In an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Spies said that after he joined the museum in April he discovered that its projected expenses for the coming year far exceeded the money that was available.

Despite recent efforts to curb the museum’s deficit, a show dedicated to artist Theater Gates has been postponed, and two other presentations—“Postcommunism” and “Postcapitalism,” sequels to the 2014 exhibition “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and Atlantic 1945–1965”—have also been scrapped. Spies is currently working to implement a new internal system that will improve communication between departments and help prevent budgeting shortfalls in the future.