The U.S. museum, unlike its European counterpart, developed primarily as a private institution. Founded and supported by the giants of industry and finance, American museums were set up on the model of their corporate parents. To this day they are governed by self-perpetuating boards of trustees composed primarily of rich donors. It is these boards of trustees - often the same "prominent citizens" who control banks and corporations and help shape the formulation of foreign policy - which ultimately determine museum policy, hire and fire directors, and to which the professional staff is held accountable.
Eva Cockroft, Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War
Artforum, June 1974 ( over ISBN-10: 0064301478 )