Trash Trio | N.Y. Museum Ball

Trash Trio Has Celebrity B-List Weekend in Detroit 

It was only last week that I told you Kid Rock showed up at girlfriend Sheryl Crow's impromptu New York bar show. He wore an Easter bunny suit and carried on merrily.

But this past weekend, sources tell me Kid Rock (real name: Robert James Ritchie) entertained the notorious former Baywatch star (and star of the acclaimed syndicated show V.I.P.) Pamela Anderson for three days in Detroit. They partied hard and carried on at nightclubs and at Kid's home.

Interestingly, they have a lot in common: Pam likes rockers (she is or was married to Tommy Lee). They also share pigskin as a mutual area of interest: Kid Rock claims to have been born on Super Bowl Sunday. Anderson was discovered in the stands at a football game. 

Pam and Kid were not alone all the time, however. Indeed, at one point they were joined by none other than controversial rapper Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers), who's talking to Kid about some joint projects. 

I mean, can you even imagine this? The ultimate meeting of low culture's chief representatives. It's almost like the white trash version of the comic book Justice League of America. Think how much Cheez Whiz and Gallo wine must have been consumed! 

Anderson, of course, has two kids whom she left behind in Los Angeles so she could make this jaunt. Her publicist, Cindy Guagenti, when called, replied with "No comment." As for Crow, I have no idea what she thinks about all this. >

Annual N.Y. Museum Ball a Big Money Loser, But Officers Are Paid Big Bucks 

No one loves the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York more than this reporter. Last night their Costume Institute put on its annual gala dinner with many celebrities. You'll be reading about it in society columns. 

But it turns out that the Costume Institute party is a little more than how it's described: a façade. In 1999 according to the Museum's tax filing, the big dinner wound up losing $460,000. In fact, according to the filing, every event sponsored by the Museum in 1999 showed a net loss. Ouch! 

In 1999, the Costume Institute Dinner-Dance "Party of the Year" did yield $1,337, 863 in contributions. But if the net loss was almost half a million dollars, it makes you wonder what's going on at New York's premier art institution. 

I always thought that working for a museum meant earning a very small personal income  you know, it's the arts! Not so, according to the filing. Philippe de Montebello, director of the Met, takes home over $1 million dollars a year. Not bad, huh? And he's not alone. There are 13 other officers of the Met, a non-profit organization, and their salaries range between $153,000-$290,000 a year. 

Indeed, the filing states there are 286 employees of the Museum who earn over $50,000 a year. Five more people  exclusive of the officers average $166,000. An outside public relations firm (separate from the PR staff at the Museum) gets $124,000 a year. The museum's architects, a firm in Hamden, Connecticut, took home $2.5 million in 1999. The museum's "investment consultants," up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, were paid $103,000 to tell them about hot stocks. 

Granted, the Museum is the biggest arts institution in New York and maybe the whole country. So it's interesting to learn that they raise nearly $100 million in direct public support. At the same time, its expenses are nearly twice that: $213 million. Even with net assets of $1.4 billion, the place shows a loss of $126 million. 

Maybe it's time to do a little cost-cutting on the staff at our favorite Museum. After all, it's about the art, isn't it, and services provided by the Museum? (How about more exhibitions and fewer long lunches at three star restaurants?) 

A spokesman for the Museum said he was too busy dealing with last night's event to answer any questions about the Costume Institute. "Give me a break," he said.

As for the Costume Institute, considering the participation of people such as designer Oscar de la Renta and editor-in-chief of Vogue Anna Wintour, I'm a little surprised the annual event  which is supposed to oh, so exclusive  isn't at least breaking even. 

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