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Archives for October 2009

More Space for Temkin’s Rehang: NY City Council Approves the MoMA/Hines Tower

Chief curator Ann Temkin, flanked by Peter Reed, MoMA's senior deputy director for curatorial affairs, left, and director Glenn Lowry, at the museum's recent press breakfast The expected has now happened: The NY City Council yesterday afternoon voted overwhelmingly (only three dissenters) to approve the Jean Nouvel-designed MoMA Monster, now reduced in height to a "mere" 1,050 feet. If and when this tower actually gets built (after economic conditions improve, according to Hines, the developer), the new space will expand the displays of … [Read more...]

My Q&A with Timothy Rub on Cleveland&#146s Deviation from Donor Intent

Timothy Rub, speaking to the press outside the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum's Gorky retrospectiveI was grateful that Timothy Rub, director of the Philadelphia Museum, was willing to talk to me at all, given my harsh criticism of the Cleveland Museum's decision (made during his directorship there) to funnel to its expansion project up to $75 million in income from funds that donors had designated for acquisitions, not for bricks and mortar. I began safely, by chatting about his plans for Philadelphia---increasing its operating budget to … [Read more...]

Miami and Cleveland: When the Financial Going Got Tough, the Directors Got Going

Timothy Rub, left, former director of the Cleveland Museum, and Terence Riley, right, former director of the Miami Art MuseumMuseum directors know that an important part of their job description is raising big bucks from culturally-minded and civic-minded donors. But few (none that I know of) become directors because soliciting money is their passion. It's a means to an end, but it often ends up taking much (if not most) of their time and energy.When major capital campaigns are in progress, fundraising exigencies sharply escalate. And when … [Read more...]

News Flash: Terence Riley Resigns Directorship of Miami Art Museum UPDATED

Terence Riley, former director of Miami Art MuseumThis is a shocker. I know nothing about the resignation of Terence Riley from the directorship of the Miami Art Museum, other than what's in the press release that just hit my inbox with a loud thud. What makes this even more surprising is that he resigned "effective immediately"---usually a sign that something is amiss. According to the press release: He will be resuming his role as partner at Keenen/Riley Architects, with various design and consulting projects in New York, Spain and … [Read more...]

Philippe, the Spring Semester: His Cultural-Property Colloquium (and Kimmelman&#146s crash course)

Philippe de Montebello, left; his successor, Tom Campbell, right, speaking at the MetThe Metropolitan Museum's illustrious director emeritus, Professor Philippe de Montebello, is well into his fall semester course, "The Meaning of Museums," at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts. But what will he be teaching this spring? Let's go to the prof's NYU webpage:Spring 2010 Colloquium: Issues of Cultural Property Here's the description (on P. 9):ISSUES IN CULTURAL PROPERTY (Colloquium) G43.2535 Philippe de Montebello Tuesday 10:00am-Noon The colloquium … [Read more...]

Guilt for Gelt: No CultureGrrl Pals on PayPal

Who am I to talk about an "unsustainable business model"?Only one CultureGrrl reader got this message of a week ago and actually decided to act upon it. I've run out of ideas of how to impress upon those who appreciate the blog how loath I am to continue this work merely for the love of it.In the meantime, though, many warm thanks to CultureGrrl Donor 78 from Little Compton, RI. Little Compton? I'm very tempted to make a French pun on that (compte: "account"---as in CultureGrrl's petit PayPal account).Speaking of puns, I love that Rocco … [Read more...]

Gorgeous Gorky in Philly: Michael Taylor Explains It All

Curator Michael Taylor at the Philadelphia Museum's recent press lunchLet's remain in Philly, but switch moods from my habitual skepticism to unmitigated pleasure and admiration: The Arshile Gorky retrospective (to Jan. 10) that opened this week at the Philadelphia Museum is one of my favorite kinds of exhibition: It greatly strengthened my appreciation for an artist whom I'd previously underestimated.Michael Taylor, the museum's indispensable curator of modern art (fresh from his Venice Biennale triumph), is deliberately setting out here to … [Read more...]

News Flash: Barnes Groundbreaking Set (Funding? Not)

Site of the planned Philly Barnes: demolition of juvenile detention center completed; zoning use permit at lower left.At some point, I owe you a report on the Barnes Foundation's recently released conceptual designs for its planned migration from Merion to Philadelphia. More detailed designs must yet be submitted, probably in very late 2009 or early 2010, for approval by the Philadelphia Art Commission.But there's some news to break, art-lings, so let me tell you this immediately, before someone else does:Invitations are going out to … [Read more...]

Miami Art Museum&#146s Planned New Building: Renzo Piano via Herzog & de Meuron?

The design (to be further refined) of the planned new Miami Art Museum was revealed yesterday at a public conversation in Miami among Terence Riley, the museum's director (who was formerly chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art) and two architects for the project from the firm of Herzog & de Meuron---Pierre de Meuron and Christine Binswanger.Here's what the new MAM will look like:Rendering of Miami Art Museum© Herzog & de Meuron, visualization by ArtefactorylabWait a minute! Haven't I seen something like … [Read more...]

Cultural Critique: Sam Sifton, New Restaurant Critic, Trashes “Bye Bye Birdie”

The image that Sam Sifton chose for his Twitter pageToday's review of a mogul-filled Manhattan restaurant, Marea, by the NY Times' fledgling restaurant critic, Sam Sifton (formerly the paper's culture editor), shows that you can take the writer out of the Culture Department, but you can't take the Culture Department out of the writer. It looks like he's decided that food belongs on the arts beat. Sam writes:Restaurants are culture as sure as music or paintings.But apparently restaurants are better than certain theatrical offerings. At the end … [Read more...]

MeTube: Rocco Landesman Briefs Grantmakers on His NEA Agenda

The new logo for the National Endowment for the ArtsIn his keynote address at Grantmakers in the Arts' 2009 Recession Conference: Navigating the Art of Change, which I attended in Brooklyn today, Rocco Landesman was his usual combative self, acknowledging the "reconstructive" work of predecessors, Dana Gioia and Bill Ivey, in "build[ing] strong relationships on Capitol Hill" and " re-establish[ing] the NEA as a respected, bipartisan agency," but letting us know that he's now going to "move the ball down the field." He emphasized the role of the … [Read more...]

Only Two More Hurdles for the MoMA Monster: City Council and the Economy

NY Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, would-be slayer of the MoMA MonsterAt its review session Monday, New York's City Planning Commission gave its go-ahead for Jean Nouvel's MoMA/Hines tower, as modified by the City Council's Land Use Committee. The project still needs to be approved by the full City Council, which may well happen at its Oct. 28 meeting. The full Council almost never goes against the decision of its Land Use Committee, which on Oct. 8 approved a somewhat shortened version of the proposed tower (1,025 feet high, instead of 1,250 … [Read more...]

Center for Curatorial Leadership Names 2010 Fellows

It's not on the website at this writing, but the Center for Curatorial Leadership has just announced its 2010 fellows. (How did the Metropolitan Museum gets TWO spots?)Here are the chosen dozen, who intend to hone their "administrative, managerial, and fundraising expertise":Christophe Cherix, Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, Museum of Modern Art, New YorkDeborah Cullen, Director of Curatorial Programs, El Museo del Barrio, New YorkMalcolm Daniel, Curator in Charge, Department of Photographs, Metropolitan Museum of … [Read more...]

Deaccession Regulations: NY State Regents Extend (and revise) Temporary Rules

Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor, NY State Board of RegentsThe NY State Board of Regents yesterday bought more time: It unanimously revised and extended its emergency rules on deaccessioning by museums and historical societies, postponing the adoption of final rules, which had previously been planned for this month's meeting. This is is the latest of six emergency actions on this issue. It will be effective for 60 days, beginning Nov. 14.In their "Statement of Facts and Circumstances Which Necessitate Emergency Action," the Regents revealed: Some 37 … [Read more...]

Why I&#146m Donating to WQXR (and why you should support CultureGrrl)

Click above, to show you care.I'm not wealthy and I don't make many donations. I give almost exclusively to entities that have greatly enhanced my own quality of life---primarily the educational institutions that I've attended. And as soon as I finish writing this post, I intend to make a contribution to WQXR, the New York classical music station that I listen to daily and rely upon for constant cultural sustenance.As you know, that station, formerly owned by the NY Times, recently became a public radio station, acquired by WNYC. My fears about … [Read more...]

MeTube: Glenn Lowry Defends MoMA Monster; Knox Gets Notched

While we await the next stage (back today to the City Planning Commission) in the MoMA Monster's journey through New York City's convoluted government approval process, let's have a return engagement today of the CultureGrrl Channel's video star, the Museum of Modern Art's director, Glenn Lowry. You can watch him argue for the benefits to MoMA of Jean Nouvel's Empire State Building-height tower (now downsized to mere Chrysler Building height) at the hearing of a City Council subcommittee of its Land Use Committee that occurred two weeks ago. … [Read more...]

I Love You, “Birdie”! (no matter what the critics say) UPDATED

They trashed my show! If reviews could kill, Bye Bye Birdie would be posting a closing notice. Fortunately, the power of the NY Times reviewer to make or break a production is diminished in this era when word of mouth (and tweet of smart phone) can have a bigger impact on theatrical fortunes than Brantley rants or Teachout clouts. I hope there are enough people who felt about the revival as I did.For Ben Brantley, the just-opened "Birdie" is a flop that will cause theatergoers to "feel an empathetic urge to rush home and bury their heads in … [Read more...]

Manoogian Maneuvers: Michigan Collector Owned Crystal Bridges’ Tait; May Have Purchased National Academy’s Church, Gifford

Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, "The Life of a Hunter: A Tight Fix," 1856, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art CultureGrrl readers are a devoted, savvy bunch: Two different museum curators wrote to inform me that BOTH Crystal Bridges-owned works in the Metropolitan Museum's current American Stories exhibition were previously owned by mega-collector Richard Manoogian---not just Richard Caton Woodville's "War News from Mexico," as I had reported on Monday, but also Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait's "The Life of a Hunter: A Tight Fix" (above). A Crystal … [Read more...]

The Rose Row: Judge Allows Court Case Against Brandeis Art Sales to Continue

Dana Schutz, "How We Would Drive," 2007, purchased with funds from the Rose Purchase Fund Endowment and funds from the Rose Museum Board of Overseers (image courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery)This just in from the Boston Globe:A Suffolk Probate Court judge denied yesterday a motion [by Brandeis University] to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three members of the Rose Art Museum's board of overseers to prevent Brandeis University from closing the museum and selling the artwork, said Edward Terry Dangel, attorney for the plaintiffs. At the hearing, the … [Read more...]

Dietrich von Bothmer, Former Met Chairman of Greek and Roman Art, Dies UPDATED

Dietrich von Bothmer, about 1980 (photo courtesy of Metropolitan Museum)The Art History Newsletter reports that Dietrich von Bothmer, 90, the Metropolitan Museum's former chairman of Greek and Roman art, has died. He enriched the museum's collection during an earlier era of antiquities collecting practices that was characterized by "don't ask, don't tell" when it came to issues of provenance. He was perhaps best known for his involvement in the acquisition under Tom Hoving's directorship of the celebrated Euphronios krater, which the Met … [Read more...]

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