Michelle Millar Fisher made the spreadsheet live on the last day of May.
In it, the Philadelphia Museum of Art curator and her collaborators, a group of anonymous museum workers, asked staffers at arts and culture institutions to anonymously share their salaries, family leave policies, and educational requirements for their positions, as well as their gender and race.
Now, it’s filled with more than 2,500 entries from workers all across the globe, from a department head at the Smithsonian ($156,000) to an intern at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (€250/month) to a conservation fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art ($38,000). The Art + Museum Transparency team, as it calls itself, uploads new entries, submitted via Google form, every day.
The spreadsheet is a way to tackle what the team called “the culture of silence and fear” among museum workers. Conversations about salaries and working conditions occur often among workers but rarely at an institutional level, they said. The spreadsheet — a new iteration of worker organizing — is a reminder that museums are not just spaces for the public to experience art and culture, but workplaces.