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Who Gets What? David Rockefeller’s Art Bequests

Of all his art interests, we have long known that the Museum of Modern Art came first for David Rockefeller, who died last month. But there were in his will a few other bequests for museums. MoMA is to receive $125 million overall; he had already begun giving MoMA annual $5 million installments to fulfill […]

Smart Move In Brooklyn

A lot of people today are interested in “design.” Unless they are furnishing a home, not all that many are interested in “decorative arts.” They are, of course, fraternal if not identical twins. Yet decorative arts galleries at many museums seem empty, while design exhibitions are crowded. So today’s announcement is welcome news: The Brooklyn […]

American Watercolors: Excellent Exhibition, But…

American Watercolor In the Age of Homer and Sargent, now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is an exhausting exhibition, in a good way. It displays more than 170 artworks and covers the period from the 1860s to 1925. It is, as the press release says, “the most comprehensive loan exhibition in over […]

At The Met, A Most Timely Acquisition

Maybe I should not admit this, but I never heard of Luisa Ignacia Roldán until a few weeks ago, when I learned that the Metropolitan Museum of Art* had recently purchased a polychrome terracotta sculpture by her. Dated 1700-1701, The Entombment of Christ takes up a very common theme in Spanish art of the period. Her interpretation adds […]

Can You Spot the Fake?

It would be a good idea. As the FBI recently warned, speaking about the case of Michigan art dealer Eric Spoutz, who pumped at least 40 forgeries into the market over the past 10 years (h/t to ArtNet) (to learn to spot fakes, that is): Although Spoutz has been sentenced, [agents] McKeogh and Savona do […]

A Trouble With Museum Boards

When I started writing that headline, above, I wrote “the” trouble with… But I quickly corrected myself because, as financial and other troubles have plagued many art museums of late (not least the Metropolitan Museum of Art*), it’s very clear that many museum boards have more than one fault. But a press release today from […]

The Prado Goes To Santa Fe

In recent years, the Prado has gotten more and more ambitious, and good for it–especially with international activities, some of which (like loans and a partnership with the Meadows Museum [see here and here]) I have written about on this blog. Now it is doing something with a populist twist, and I love that too–from […]

The Mesmerizing Art of Ran Hwang

New York City is home to thousands of working artists, including many good ones who rarely receive the publicity they deserve–even then they have galleries and have had museum exhibitions. So I was pleased to be able to write even a short profile about Ran Hwang, a South Korean artist based in New York and […]

Max Hollein, Monet And Baseball

When baseball fans go to a game, they usually come prepared: they know the players, their records and their statistics. They know all about batting order strategy. The same for, say, horse-racing–even more so, because good bettors study the odds. But when people go to art museums, they often know nothing in advance–at least nothing […]

“The quality and standing of all American museums would diminish overnight.”

That quote is from Max Hollein, the director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, as recorded today in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. On Page One–and good for the Chronicle for doing that. We’ve known, and Met Director Tom Campbell reminded us last month, in an op-ed piece in The New […]

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