Already, more than 50 employees — who are all over 55 and have been at the Met for at least 15 years — have taken buyouts. And others in the curatorial, conservation and administrative fields are bracing for cuts, the Times reported.
The museum announced a hiring freeze and voluntary buyouts in April so that it could reduce its deficit of $10 million this year. If the museum does nothing, it could go in the red by as much as $40 million, officials said.
"We're not in a crisis," Thomas Campbell, the museum's director, told the Times. "The Met is a very strong institution firing on all cylinders."
Despite that, the number of exhibitions will be reduced from roughly 55 to about 40 each year for the next few years.
“We’re planning to streamline our budgets but not to diminish our mission," Daniel Weiss, the museum's president and CEO, said in the Times report.
“I was brought in to be the chief operating officer of the museum. I’m making the corrections I need to make to fulfill that responsibility.”
The Met has already had to halt work on its new $600 million wing for modern and contemporary art, but put money toward a controversial $3 million rebranding over the winter and, separately, millions more toward the museum's new Met Breuer building at Madison Avenue and East 75th Street.
Museum officials are also hoping to bump up retail sales by focusing on the museum's own publications and its 'more distinctive' merchandise, Weiss told the Times.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art did not respond to requests for comment.