Why Is Artistic Success Measured By Money?

How do we judge the success of an arts institution? The new heads of London’s National Theatre and the National Gallery – Nicholas Hytner and Charles Saumarez Smith – co-hosted a conference addressing the question of “how we judge whether culture is a success. Both worry that the vocabulary of praise in the arts world has become entirely financial (how many came?) and social (is the work educational? is the audience diverse?). While recognising the importance of these measures, they seek a new language which will recognise the worth a theatre or gallery has simply by existing.”