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Who Would You Pick To Play Picasso? Plus, Best And Worst Artists’ Films


We're talking movies here. Most movies about art and artists leave a lot to be desired. We shall see how Picasso is treated in a movie about the making of Guernica, with Antonio Banderas starring as the artist. Banderas, who like Picasso is a Malaga native, said that he "turned down the chance at one point of playing Mr. Pablo, but the time has come in my life where I understand him better, and I am nearly at the age he was when those events happened, in 1937, when he was 55 or 56, and I'm getting close," according to Fox News Latino. Banderas … [Read more...]

Toronto’s Good Idea: “Just Like Me”


Every now and then I come across an idea that's worth singling out, and the Art Gallery of Ontario has one: it's an exhibit of paintings and sculptures featuring children designed to enchant children. It's called Just Like Me: Explore, Imagine, Create; it's the first of a series, and it includes 23 paintings, sculptures and photographs from the AGO’s European, Canadian, Inuit and photography collections, along with "multisensory activities and art books to inspire adults and children to meaningfully engage with art." It's shown in a space … [Read more...]

Can You Discern What Is A Caravaggio And What Isn’t?


If experts can't agree, I probably can't tell (though I might have an opinion). Nonetheless, in this age of crowd-sourcing virtually everything that can be crowd-sourced, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is asking its visitors to answer that question. Since Apr. 12, the museum has presented a small exhibit of four paintings by the artist in Visiting Masterpieces: Caravaggio and Connoisseurship. Two, Fortune Teller (c 1594–95) and Fra Antonio Martelli, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Malta (c 1608), are accepted as by the master -- though … [Read more...]

Another Director’s Job Is Now Open


The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Barnes Foundation, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester -- those museums all need directors. And now, so does the Phoenix Art Museum. Last Thursday, on Apr. 17, Jim Ballinger -- director there since 1982 -- announced that he was retiring, with the effective date undisclosed but, I'd guess, probably related to the selection of his successor. The search will start immediately, the museum said. Ballinger turns 65 this year, and started at the … [Read more...]

Fashion Attracts Record Visitors Everywhere


Winterthur, the great palace of American decorative Arts in Delaware, is suddenly the belle of the ball thanks to British fashion. And television. Since the March 1 opening of its Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit, some 550 visitors per day, on average, have been arriving, "exceeding all attendance records maintained since Winterthur opened in 1951," Liz Farrell, the museum spokeswoman says. Last year at this time, Winterthur was presenting a wonderful exhibit that I wrote about for The Wall Street Journal, Common Destinations: Maps in the … [Read more...]

AAMD Tries To Get Tough Re: Delaware Deaccession


Timothy Rub (pictured), current president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, has just penned a tough letter to Delaware officials -- Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden and Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams. It breaks no new ground, but it does make a decent point on the museum's current strategy of non-disclosure: ...we are also deeply concerned that the Delaware Art Museum has refused to disclose publicly the works of art that it is considering selling. Given the importance of this decision and its potential impact, … [Read more...]

New Web Resources Everywhere, It Seems


Hard on the heels of the recent announcement by the Vatican, that its bounteous library had begun digitizing all 82,000 manuscripts in its 135 collections -- thanks to help from the Japanese Japanese technology group NTT Data -- the Tate has made available a rich artistic resource. It's called Audio Arts, and it consists of 245 hours of more than 1,640 interviews with artists, critics and other art world figures. This one is already available here. As the Tate's press release describes it: The list of interviewees ...includes some of the … [Read more...]

Now Hirshhorn Loses Interim Director


The job of Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution, just got a little harder. Kurin has been responsible for the search for a director of the Hirshhorn Museum since last spring. You'll recall that former director Richard Koshalek stepped down after his seasonal inflatable bubble idea was killed by the Smithsonian amid board turmoil at the Hirshhorn and questions about who'd pay for it. Kurin appointed Kerry Brougher, the Hirshhorn's deputy director and chief curator, to be interim director. … [Read more...]

At Last: NEH To Get A New Chief


Yesterday, President Obama announced his new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities: Dr. William “Bro” Adams, the current president of Colby College in Maine, a position he has held since 2000. Adams announced his impending retirement from Colby -- in June -- at the start of 2013. Previously, Adams had been president of Bucknell University, 1995 to 2000, and before that he was vice president and secretary of Wesleyan University, 1993 to 1995. He has also been program coordinator of the "Great Works in Western Culture" program … [Read more...]

Detroit News Also Takes Stand Against Art Sale


Here's that paper's opinion piece: Offers to save DIA would mean big trade-offs for city, pensioners. The Detroit News  is less emotional about the riches in the Detroit Institute of Arts than its rival Free Press, but a column by Daniel Howes too argues against a sale and for the so-called grand bargain (foundations ponying up money to secure the DIA's art from sale and remove it from city ownership). An excerpt: The DIA is the central battleground in Detroit’s high-stakes bankruptcy and the prize is winning the support of pensioners who … [Read more...]

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