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Archives for April 2009

Q&A with Douglas Crimp: Responses to the Met’s “Picture Generation” from the Group’s First Proponent

Douglas Crimp at the Met's "Pictures Generation" press previewFor me, the Metropolitan Museum's much discussed, uncharacteristically risk-taking theme show, Pictures Generation (to Aug. 2) is more remarkable for that conservative institution's willingness to tackle a worthy, complex contemporary subject than for the actual rewards derived from viewing it.While the underlying Big Idea---artists' appropriation of media images---has undeniably gained lasting traction, many of the movement's 30 practitioners in this 160-work survey have not. The … [Read more...]

Rose Family to Brandeis: Honor Edward Rose’s Will!

The Founders: Bertha and Edward RoseThe Rose Family is now contending that closing or repurposing Brandeis University's Rose Art Museum would violate the terms of the will of their forebear, Edward Rose, founding donor of the museum.Alana Abramson of the student newspaper, The Justice, reports:Meryl Rose [a Rose Museum board member] said that she does not believe the University's actions, despite its expressed intentions to keep the Rose open as a public museum, have been in accordance with the will.Here is the relevant excerpt from the Edward … [Read more...]

Sorriest Sight: Inside Iowa’s Flooded, Evacuated Museum

WARNING: This post includes graphic content that will cause emotional distress to anyone who cares about art museums (i.e., all of you). When I visited the former home of the University of Iowa Museum of Art in Iowa City earlier this month, the lettering announcing its past purpose had not yet been removed from its façade (as it has been now): This 1969 building, emptied and evacuated due to last June's Iowa River flood (and now housing some music rehearsal rooms), had been designed by the firm of Harrison and Abramovitz, whose … [Read more...]

BlogBack: Tom Freudenheim on Hirshhorn Deaccessions

Tom Freudenheim, the Smithsonian Institution's former assistant secretary for museums, responds to comments (at the end of this post) about three works by Eakins to be sold at Christie's on May 20 by the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington (which is part of the Smithsonian):The Hirshhorn Museum has disposed of stuff regularly for years. But Joe Hirshhorn's gift specifically allowed for that---proceeds to buy new art. So theoretically, there's an excuse not to transfer the works to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I always felt that this … [Read more...]

Updates on Montclair Deaccessions: Two Gilbert Stuart Portraits; Audubon “Birds of America”

Montclair Art MuseumYesterday, I reported that I had not yet received from the Montclair Art Museum the list of deaccessions I had been promised. (I commented further on the Montclair disposals here and here.)Today, the list of consignments to Christie's (including the three June sales, whose details are not yet posted on the auction house's website) was sent to my inbox by Raechel Lutz, assistant to the museum's director, Lora Urbanelli. I still have not received details about the costume deaccessions that are scheduled (along with items from … [Read more...]

WQXR Rumors: Could NYC Loses Its Only 24/7 Classical Music Station?

As I write this, I'm listening to my life's dominent soundtrack, WQXR, now playing the final triumphant movement of the Brahms Symphony No. 1 with Zubin Mehta, erstwhile NY Philharmonic music director, conducting the Israel Philharmonic. Owned by the NY Times, WQXR has been New York City's only all-classical music station since the lamentable 1974 demise of the even better WNCN.Can this happen again? Today's NY Post reports:Rumors are raging that top suits have discussed putting classical radio station WQXR (96.3 FM) on the block to shore up … [Read more...]

Three Montclair Museum “Disposables” Featured in Its Handbook of Highlights

Montclair Art Museum's collection handbookOn Friday, I commented that except for the Pollock, the deaccessioning by the Montclair (NJ) Art Museum next month at Christie's "appears to be mostly a housecleaning."Wrong.I took a short drive over to the museum yesterday and was struck anew by the high quality of its American holdings from the 18th and 19th century, as well as the intelligence and helpfulness of the labels elucidating those works. At the end of my visit, I stopped in at the bookstore to purchase a copy of the museum's 2002 handbook, … [Read more...]

Montclair’s Deaccessions Revealed, AAMD Condones Applying Art Proceeds Towards Bond Covenants

Jackson Pollock, "Untitled," 1951, estimated to sell for $400,000-$600,000 on May 13 at Christie's Postwar and Contemporary evening saleAbove is the star lot from list of works consigned by the Montclair Art Museum for sale next month at Christie's. Most (including works by Bierstadt, Homer, Glackens, Henri) will be offered in the May 20 American sale; one, the Pollock pictured above, will be in the May 13 Postwar and Contemporary evening sale, and three works (Reinhardt, Motherwell, Stamos) in the May 14 Postwar and Contemporary morning … [Read more...]

Sorry Sights: University of Iowa’s Flooded Museum and Steven Holl Art Building

The ghosts of letters removed this week from the façade of the University of Iowa Museum of ArtPamela White, interim director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art and director of the university's museum studies program, had planned an upbeat trip for my stay in Iowa City, where recovery from last June's damaging flood may cost the university some $750 million, partially reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In December, according to White, FEMA had indicated it might contribute to the cost of a new art facility, but in … [Read more...]

CultureGrrl’s Third Anniversary: A Time for Reflection and Reinvention

StartUp Since I always have more opinions and information on the artworld than the Mainstream Media can use, I've decided to throw some of those juicy tidbits into this blog. Stay tuned for my first post! April 23, 2006 2:55 PM It's now three years since I typed those sentences---Baby CultureGrrl's first gurgle. No one was actually "staying tuned." My first two weeks of posts were for imaginary readers only, as I eased into the blogging routine and took to it. I then sent my URL (not yet on ArtsJournal, of course) to a few artworld … [Read more...]

CultureGrrl “Correction,” Uncorrected

For what it's worth, I have responded to aspersions cast on my accuracy that were posted today by another ArtsJournal blogger (to whom I shall not link). My response can be found as an update at the end of the post that my detractor, in error, alleges to be "in error." [And now I've updated the update, at the same link.] And NOW, I've updated the update of the update.Please stop me before I update again! … [Read more...]

Marc Wilson to Retire: Bloch Building Cements His Legacy

Marc Wilson in the acclaimed 2007 Bloch Building, designed by Steven Holl With Philippe de Montebello gone from the Met, I believe it's safe to say that Marc Wilson, director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, is currently the longest-serving head of a major encyclopedic museum in this country. And he served, if not with equal fame, with comparable distinction. He has just announced that he will retire, after 28 years in his post, on June 1, 2010. The museum he oversees is now perhaps best known for a relatively recent … [Read more...]

Deaccession Legislation: Iowa Museum Director and Nonprofits Attorney Say It’s Time

Attorney David Bright and I field questions after speaking on deaccessioning at the University of IowaNear the end of my talk last Wednesday at the University of Iowa (where the art museum, best known for its monumental 1943 Pollock, has been permanently closed by flooding), I advocated that the Brodsky bill, designed to regulate deaccessioning in New York State, become a national model. I told the large, receptive audience:I think that we need such legislation throughout the country, because, as we've seen with some of these cases [which I … [Read more...]

Antiquities Loans: Pompeii Bronzes Arrive at Getty from Naples

Statue of Apollo as an archer (Apollo Saettante), Greek, manufactured before 146 B.C., copper alloy/bronze, 1.47 meters high, found in 1817 in Pompeii, near the Sanctuary of ApolloNational Archaeological Museum, NaplesStatue of an Ephebe (Youth) as a lampbearer, Roman, about 20-10 B.C., bronze with inlays of copper and glass, 1.49 meters high, from Pompeii's House of the Ephebe (Regio I, Insula VII, House 11), excavated in 1925National Archaeological Museum, NaplesI gave you the first heads-up (or actually the second, after an Italian-language … [Read more...]

Pulitzer for Criticism: Holland Cotter Gets the Gold UPDATED THRICE

Holland Cotter Holland Cotter, staff art critic for the NY Times since 1998, has just been named the winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism, "for his wide ranging reviews of art, from Manhattan to China, marked by acute observation, luminous writing and dramatic storytelling." The specific articles that won him the prize are here, here and here. The Pulitzer site, in its biographical description, took note of Cotter's special niche at the paper: For the Times, he has written widely about "non-western" art … [Read more...]

Who Was Shakespeare? The Supreme Court’s (and my) De Vere Verdict

Edward de Vere, from an engraving by J. Brown after G.P. Harding, 1575I know you're all probably expecting a complete and abundantly illustrated report on my recent trip to Iowa.Patience, art-lings! Right now my thoughts stray to Elizabethan England.That's because Saturday's Wall Street Journal featured a front-page article devoted to one of my cherished notions---the theory that "Shakespeare" was really Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. De Vere was a widely traveled aristocrat of erudition and eclectic experience, whose claim to … [Read more...]

The Pollock Stops Here: CultureGrrl’s Debut on Iowa TV

Yesterday, when I arrived at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA, to see the about-to-open installation of highlights (including the monumental 1943 Pollock) from the collection of the flood-shuttered University of Iowa Museum of Art, the television crew for KCRG was on the scene. In the online description of their report about the UIMA exhibition, A Legacy for Iowa, I became Lee "Rosebaum." The Figge's director, Sean O'Harrow, became "Shawn" (both in the online description and in the video clip itself).No matter. At least they described me … [Read more...]

Montclair’s Multi-Tasking Art Endowment: The Guggenheim Did It First

In her Mar. 26 NY Times article (scroll down) describing the planned deaccessions by the Montclair (NJ) Art Museum, Carol Vogel reported:Officials at Montclair were quick to say that the proceeds from any sale of art would go ONLY [emphasis added] toward purchasing other works, a practice that is consistent with the Association of Art Museum Directors policy. But James Panero, in his article for yesterday's Wall Street Journal, tells the real story: Interviewing the museum's new director, Lora Urbanelli, he discovered that some proceeds from … [Read more...]

I ♥ the Heartland: Speaking Gig at University of Iowa (Pollock Country); Rebuttal to Zaretsky

Pamela White, interim director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, poses in front of her museum's Pollock "Mural" at the Figge Art Museum, with Figge's executive director, Sean O'Harrow I made friends (and probably some enemies) in Iowa with my posts (here, here, here, and here) about the University of Iowa Museum of Art's (thus far) successful effort to prevail over those who would like to monetize the museum's major Pollock to help pay for flood-damage recovery. I've been asked to speak this Wednesday on "When Values Collide: … [Read more...]

My Own Bad News at the New Museum

So what did I think of Younger Than Jesus? I was enjoying a number of artists on the second floor (especially four brief video clips by Romanian artist Ciprian Muresan, including the hilarious "Untitled [Shoe Laces]), when my husband, who knows never to call me in a museum, buzzed me to say that my sister-in-law's mother, of whom I was very fond, had just died.Not a direct hit, but enough impact to make me distrust my general sense of detachment from the art on the other floors. I'm lucky that I hadn't committed to covering this for anyone … [Read more...]

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