Thinking Of Applying To Run An Italian Museum? Don’t

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“Every now and again [politicians and boards] appoint a foreigner … in the hope of getting a bit of that magical know-how, and then they get rid of him or her in humiliating, destructive and unprofessional ways that in the UK or US would be inconceivable.” Anna Somers Cocks explains why this happens, and offers three horror stories case histories.

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In The World Cup Of Art Germany Would Also Win

Anselm Kiefer

“The World Cup display of German talent is the moment for Britons to put aside the prejudices and scars left by 20th-century wars and wake up to the fact that Germany is not just modern Europe’s economic powerhouse, but its cultural workshop, too, creating everything from beautiful football to sublime art.”

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Keeping Beaux Arts Museums In Shape Is Super Hard, And Here’s Why

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“Every time a fluted column or pedimented doorway gets in the way of a future gallery, the same problem crops up: how to make a grand old building more rational and efficient without neutralizing its ­idiosyncrasies—how, in other words, to make it better without ruining it completely.”

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Why Are Wax Museums Making A Comeback?

Queen Elizabeth II Wax

“You might have thought that the gossipy Twitter feeds, paparazzi glossies and video cameras in every phone would have obliterated the public appetite for goggling at mere reproductions of fame. But paradoxically, more people than ever are visiting Madame Tussauds waxworks around the world.”

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Massachusetts’ Clark Museum Reopens Remade

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“To a great extent the Clark, which is known especially for its holdings in French Impressionism and 19th-century academic painting plus a handful of Renaissance masterpieces, has done this by doubling down, intensifying but also elaborating its founders’ mission: the individualistic contemplation of art within domestically scaled spaces in a pastoral setting.”

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New Orleans’ (Illegal) LOVE Signs

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“The small plastic LOVE signs that began popping up on telephone poles around town this spring put a smile on many faces in the Crescent City. Though they occupied the same space as grassroots street advertisements, they didn’t seem to have anything to sell. Because they are generically designed and commercially produced, they didn’t look like conventional graffiti or street art. Because they are rather small and seek to share such a universally upbeat message, they are difficult to dislike … even if they are illegal.”

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We Could Honor Artists By Selling Detroit’s Art?

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“A good deal of the outrage directed at the idea of selling off art from Detroit’s museum is a backlash against the vague idea that doing so would mean rejecting art as a whole, or would amount to a declaration that the residents of Detroit do not deserve to enjoy art. On the contrary. I can think of no higher expression of Van Gogh’s artistic worth than the fact that Detroit could—with the sale of a single one of his paintings—provide water to all of its citizens.”

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Painting’s First Avant-Garde Was 500 Years Ago

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In an essay titled “The Birth of Bad Taste”, Barry Schwabsky argues that “long before Matisse, the Italian artists of the sixteenth century who came to be known as Mannerists were willing to twist their figures out of proportion, and they did so to create not convincing images, but convincing paintings.”

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Report: French Museums Are Badly Run

Pompidou

“The preliminary document, released Wednesday after eight months of research and ahead of a full report due at the end of the year, cites several shocking oversights; for example, the Louvre is critiqued for storing Classical sculptures in a subterranean chamber that could not be properly evacuated in the event of an overflow of the Seine river.”

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Michael Govan: Audacious New LA County Museum Of Art Would Signal A “New” LA

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“The opening would come 20 years after the 2003 arrival of the $284-million Walt Disney Concert Hall. Govan said LACMA would be continuing the “movement” that the acclaimed concert hall launched. The new LACMA would show that L.A. was, in effect, not a one-hit wonder, but a city capable of charting an ambitious, ongoing course of increasing and revitalizing its cultural offerings.”

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Clark Art Institute In Mass. Reopens After Four-Month Closure And 15-Year Expansion Program

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The Williamstown museum now has big new exhibition space (much of it underground) that finally enable it to show large-scale 20th-century art and to collaborate with major venues on touring exhibitions. That’s not to mention the one-acre, three-tiered reflecting pool designed by Tadao Ando and Gary Hilderbrand.

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