an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Follow-Ups on CultureGrrl News: Biennale, Kimbell, Hirst Skull, Barnes, Crystal Bridges

Carol Vogel gives a comprehensive and cogent round-up of the Venice Biennale, in today’s NY Times. Randy‘s been Dandy, but Vogel’s the Mogul.
Malcolm Warner is named deputy director of the Kimbell Museum, and will become acting director once Timothy Potts leaves for the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, Sept. 1. Clearly the Kimbell feels that the window for “transition” allowed by Potts was too small to accommodate a new-director search. Maybe Warner will eventually get to remove “acting” from his title. He has been the museum’s senior curator since 2002.
Sara MacDonald, press officer of White Cube in London, indicates that her gallery is getting closer to closing on a sale of Diamond Damien’s skull: “The work is on reserve but has not been sold as yet.”
—As reported by Stephan Salisbury in the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Philadelphia City Council committee has approved a 99-year lease for the Barnes Foundation to occupy the current site of a youth detention center. The plan will next go to the full council. But the problems in securing the site still haven’t been solved. Meanwhile, the Friends of the Barnes Foundation are now arguing for National Historic Landmark status for the Barnes’ current facility in Merion.
The best hope for the opponents of the Barnes’ planned moved to Philadelphia may well be the stubborness of Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who, according to the Inquirer, “has declined to introduce the necessary zoning bill that would make the move possible. Blackwell has cited a number of issues—ranging from parking to community amenities—that she believes still need to be addressed.”
—The Arkansas Times recently ran a long, detailed and laudatory article about Alice Walton’s planned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Leslie Newell Peacock reports:
[Bob] Workman [the museum’s director] said there is “real depth to the collection,” especially in the 19th century works, and many will have strong historical significance….Its 20th century pieces will include “major works” in modernism, and while the original cutoff for the museum was the mid-20th century, later works “in the realist tradition” are now being looked at. There will be abstract works, but “more the earlier abstracts.” It will encompass “key moments in American art,” with historical value largely secondary to aesthetics.
Crystal Bridges’ own update on its progress is here.
UPDATE: Cathleen McGuigan, in the June 18 Newsweek, also gives Walton and Crystal Bridges friendly publicity. We’re so relieved to learn that “she’s a smart businesswoman. She does not go out there limitless,” in the words of Nelson-Atkins Museum director Marc Wilson. He and Walton apparently lost out on a joint bid for a “really terrific Grant Wood landscape,” when the Wal-Mart heiress stuck firmly to their agreed-upon spending cap of $7 million.

an ArtsJournal blog