Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Frailty of Man

I was shocked today when I saw the story about Rick Beard's firing from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Though I have never spoken with Mr. Beard one on one, I have sat in on panel sessions he has conducted at a number of professional meetings over the past few years. His reputation as a historian is very good, and he has had, by all accounts, a stellar career in the museum field. He has held high-profile positions at several equally high-profile museums such as the National Portrait Gallery, the Atlanta History Center, and the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, just to name a few. It is sad to see such an exemplary career end in such a strange, yet pedestrian manner. It would be nice to think that Mr. Beard will be found innocent of these infractions, but that won't salvage what has already been lost. If these allegations are true, I hope that Mr. Beard can get the help that he obviously needs. This just seems like one of those "I never saw that coming" moments.

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