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The Year in CultureGrrl, 2013 Edition (and a request)

Lecturing last springabout museum finances at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis

Lecturing last spring about museum finances at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis

My daughter’s wedding and my grandson’s birth, which occurred in rapid succession (and in unexpected order!), made 2013 was more personally than professionally momentous for me. I did enjoy my mainstreammedia work, public radio commentary (click each word for links to different stories) and lecturing gig, but my ambivalence about blogging (which devours the lion’s share of my time) grew stronger.

My professional soul-searching intensified this year, as the stream of donations from my art-lings became a trickle and ads were few and far between. Part of this was my own fault: I discontinued my irritating pleas to click my donate button, because I found begging distasteful.

Unfortunately,  when I don’t ask, I don’t get.

Having been barraged by what felt like an unprecedented number of end-of-year donation appeals e-mailed to me by museums and cultural groups (five from the Museum of Modern Art alone), I’ll allow myself this one self-serving pitch:

Now that you’ve made your 2013 tax-deductible contributions, please consider starting the New Year with a non-tax-deductible contribution to CultureGrrl (via this link, or by clicking my “Donate” button, on the right). If you’ve already done so, please consider doing it again.

Tangible proof that you enjoy reading my blog will encourage me to continue. If you give $10 or more, you’ll receive my e-mailed notifications of new posts, as soon as they appear (unless you prefer to opt out). If you’re viewing this on CultureGrrl‘s mobile site, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom and click “View Full Site” to see my “Donate” button.

Please click my Advertise on CultureGrrl link (on the right) to reach my sophisticated audience of art-lovers, collectors, artists, museum professionals and gallerists.

Lecturing gigs are always welcome. (You can see some of my previous topics and places where I’ve appeared, here.)

But enough about me. With my Best Wishes for an Art-Full New Year, here (a bit belatedly) are CultureGrrl’s Top 20 Stories for 2013, in chronological order, with an emphasis on the controversies (Detroit, Detroit, Detroit…) that we’ve been following:

Hispanic Society, Metropolitan Museum, Middlebury: One Institution’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure

AAMD’s “Strengthened” Antiquities-Collecting Guidelines Boost the Loopholes

Campbell/Cambodia: Metropolitan Museum’s Principled Repatriation of Looted Khmer Statues

Ownership vs. Stewardship: Timothy Rub on the “New Order of the Day” for Cultural Property

Guggenheim’s “Aten Reign”: Turrell’s “Skyspace” Obscures the Sky

James Russell’s and My WNYC Commentary: Meet the New Whitney, Not Like the Old Whitney

A Cy-ing Shame: Dia Ditches All Its Twomblys

More on the “Dia-ccessions”: Honoring Twombly, Discarding Twomblys (and Chamberlains, Newman)

Fatuous Journalistic Commentary on the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Plight (and why it must be saved)

Bending for Sonnabend: Should MoMA Break Precedent by Mounting a Dealer-Tribute Show?

Hopper Whopper: More on Pennsylvania Academy’s Deplorable Deaccession; Why AAMD Should Act

Roof Goof? Art Institute of Chicago Closes Top Floor of Renzo Piano’s Modern Wing

Glenn Lowry on MoMA’s Next Expansion: “Substantial Changes in the Way We Present the Collection”

Guggenheim’s Modified Helsinki Proposal Reduces Costs, Keeps $30-Million Licensing Fee

Fright Night: Detroit Institute of Arts’ Attorney Shines Light on City’s Murky Bankruptcy Discussions (with video)

Sotheby’s Senior Shake-Up: What Might Tobias Meyer’s Sudden Departure Mean?

Christie’s Explains Its Contemporary Auction Triumph (with videos)

Appraising the Appraisal: Christie’s Sickening Potential Shopping List of Detroit Institute’s Art

Guardian Exposé: Substandard Conditions Reportedly Persist for Some Abu Dhabi Construction Workers (plus Guggenheim’s, TDIC’s reactions)

“Rembrandt”? Probably Not: Worcester Art Museum’s Own Version of “American Hustle”

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