“Fearless Girl represents basically everything that’s wrong with our society,” argues Jillian Steinhauer. “Could there possibly be anything more patronizing than two massive, male-dominated capitalist companies” – advertising giant McCann and investment firm State Street – “installing a branded statue of the most conceivably non-threatening version of womankind in supposed honor of a day devoted to women’s equality that was founded by the Socialist Party?” Do you think Steinhauer has a point?
From Philadelphia to Seattle, American cities are banking on parks and public spaces to drive social and economic progress. “Parks may not seem particularly urgent compared with the latest gangland murder epidemic; but the effort in Chicago to improve and expand them has, neighborhood by neighborhood, delivered long-term rewards. A few downtown showpieces, like the urbane Riverwalk and glamorous Millennium Park, have reaped immense financial windfalls for the city. Barack Obama’s presidential library in Jackson Park promises to become a major new attraction and help rejuvenate that part of the South Side.”
Absolution (ca. 1900) has a quality most people would never associate with Rodin’s muscular sculpture – it’s fragile, made up of three plaster pieces with fabric draped on top. Emily Sharpe reports on how conservators stabilized the piece and transported it (very carefully) to the Musée Rodin in Paris.
Of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza survives to this day and the fate of five others is documented. But what became of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon has remained a mystery; some scholars aren’t certain they even existed. But ISIS’s destruction of a shrine on the ancient site of Nineveh may have revealed the key to that mystery. Or perhaps not. The connection involves a chain of historical references that may not hold up – but Noah Charney explains that chain and how it might be plausible.
“In recent years, museums have been making a greater effort to have a voice in social activism and respond to pressing problems of the day. The big question is when and how art museums should take a public position and try to effect change, or at least initiate a community discussion on a topic.”
“They’re using design and technology to tackle everything from climate change to social justice, and they are doing so not as lone geniuses toiling away in the dark, but in collaboration with clients, neighborhoods, and cities. The starchitecture era is dead.”
“Once Iraqi forces had secured areas of west Mosul and reporters could enter the museum on Saturday, it emerged that the museum—which had been used as a base during the fighting—had also been completely cleared out and decimated.”
One museum covered artwork donated by immigrants; another rehung its collection to emphasize art by those from the countries affected by the travel ban. Museums whose remit is history sent people into the street to collect artifacts from the Women’s March; other museums say it’s up to the artists, not the museums, to respond. Not every museum is focused on action around politics, but every museum is confronting the times in some way.
Durham, who says he didn’t come to the opening of his Hammer Museum show because he’s had health problems in the last couple of years, says, “I guess you could call leaving New York a statement or position in that I didn’t want to be judged by my monetary success. I didn’t want to be a part of the American dream.”
This isn’t just about helping medical students access their feelings (important as that is). “In addition to focusing on ways that doctors treat their patients through empathy, the program aimed to develop observation skills and address how doctors treat themselves, through a session on mindfulness and self-care.”
One art historian – well, the leading expert on Thomas Gainsborough – says “Miss Brummell” is probably by the painter’s nephew. Why? “It’s just not Gainsborough’s style. It’s too messy. It lacks confidence. The handling is rather scratchy.”
Maybe: “Being an artist implies a normative departure from bourgeois society. It’s a different kind of extension because it refers to a different lifestyle, so, unlike other domains, .art has the capacity to draw artists and institutions to itself.”
Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, the art historian, writer, and filmmaker behind the project, says, “the narrative that is told about Africa is still the backward narrative: no innovation, it’s ahistorical and stuck. Yet with everything I was reading, it was stories of innovation, of knowledge, of technology.”
This “shybot” wandered the desert for a month, with its only goal being to avoid human contact. “Drones tracked its progress from the air — which Shybot at times appeared not to appreciate.”
“The hard lines and raw material of these buildings, captured in Nigel Green’s crisp photographs that accompany the map, seem out of place in this French city of past regencies and Haussmann’s 19th-century design,” but perhaps they show what Paris could, or should, be.
And that mission is to correct, as much as he can, the whitewash of art history in museums across the country. ““At a certain point, you have to decide whether you’d be satisfied always acknowledging the beauty and the greatness of what other people create or if you want to be in the same arena.”
The court ruled that Koons had copied the work of a photographer…
Patrick Moore, who has been with the museum since 2011 as its director of development. He takes the place of Eric Shiner, who announced last summer that he would step down from the top spot to take a job at Sotheby’s, a nonprofit-to-for-profit move that is rarely seen in the art world. Moore had been serving as interim director in the intervening time.
“Why is keeping an urban diary worthwhile? Charles Wolfe argues that it trains us to be better citizens, to care more and understand more about where we live. Therefore, we might be more motivated to attend meetings or offer insights and solutions into the planning process.”
“Days before, these troops and other forces loyal to the Syrian government had recaptured the Roman city, a world heritage site and an important symbol of Syrian diversity, from Islamic State for the second time in a year. Graffiti at the entrance read: “No entry without Isis permission – not even brothers.” The Russians crunched up the piles of rubble and posed for triumphant pictures under the arch – all that was left of the central temple.”
The library was full of handsomely bound volumes, but at the back of one shelf the owners found a drab ledger, holding a rather dull series of 90 French military prints – and a few pages further on, a complete pristine set of the first edition of Goya’s La Tauromaquia etchings, apparently forgotten about for more than 150 years.
“The fiddly ritual of assembling IKEA furniture is set to become a thing of the past as the furniture giant introduces products that snap together ‘like a jigsaw puzzle.'” No tools necessary! (includes video)
The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, founded by documentary filmmaker Michael Miner, plans to start with a 1911 park pavilion (demolished) that Wright designed for Banff in the Canadian Rockies. But is this a good idea?
On Thursday, more than 70 attendants at the Paris museum followed through on a threat to strike in protest of the disastrous planning for the big Vermeer exhibition that opened there in late February.
“Three major contemporary art auctions this week brought a total of 229 million pounds, or about $280 million — a sharp increase over the £152.2 million raised by equivalent events in February 2016. The sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips suggested the world’s wealthiest collectors were eager enough to spend money in London.”
“The temporary statue — named “Fearless Girl” and placed overnight Monday by McCann New York advertising agency and its client, Boston-based State Street Global Advisors — may be a stunt to draw attention to the index fund giant’s campaign to get more women into board roles against the backdrop of International Women’s Day and the anniversary of the launch of an exchange-traded fund that tracks companies that have higher levels of gender diversity in its leadership.”
“At a time when humanity faces real existential threats, a lack of purely beautiful contemporary artworks may not be a foremost concern. But I wonder what future generations will think when they look back at what was made in 2016, 2017 and in the remainder of this administration. Will they be inspired and taken? Or will they simply laugh at all the gold?”
“Who was really in charge of the undertaking remained a persistent and vexing question. As the latest studies make abundantly clear, the transformation of the World Trade Center site was hampered to a shameful degree by the intransigent self-interest of both individuals and institutions. As a result, an effort ostensibly meant to display our country’s unified spirit in response to an unprecedented calamity instead revealed that communal altruism of the sort that helped America to survive the Great Depression and triumph in World War II had largely become a thing of the past. Although all major construction schemes face tremendous problems, the World Trade Center rebuilding encapsulates everything that is wrong with urban development in a period when, as in so many other aspects of our public life, the good of the many is sacrificed to the gain of the few.”
Bill Arnett says he believes that Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley and others aren’t just great artists; he argues that in a colorblind world, they’d be held in the same esteem as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning. He’s been so aggressive making this argument that more than once he’s been kicked out of museums. But there are those who appreciate his unyielding passion.
Demand so high it crashed the ticketing website. Frustrated crowds queued up for hours past their scheduled viewing time – which they can arrange only after tickets have been purchased. Angry patrons treating innocent security staff so badly that the latter are threatening to strike. But a Louvre spokesperson says, “We should be happy to see that crowds can also show up for an Old Masters exhibition, and not just for contemporary shows.” (Yes, what a surprise that must have been for the museum that houses the Mona Lisa.)