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Does Crowdfunding Work? Not So Far

JLMigration

Back on Nov. 6, the Phillips Collection sent me an email about a worthy effort: it had started a crowd-funding campaign for a micro-website about Jacob Lawrence. It would feature "unpublished interviews between the artist and museum curators in 1992 and 2000, including one conducted just prior to the artist’s death." The point, obviously, was to engage people in learning about Lawrence, particularly because the Phillips plans to present the exhibition Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series (one image at left) in fall, 2016, following its presence … [Read more...]

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (Day)?

Manchester, New Hampshire, Currier Museum of Art,

Many museums schedule plenty of holiday events in December, but probably not for New Year's Eve. So the message from the Currier Museum (pictures) in Manchester, NH, caught my eye. It was for something called "Noon Year's Eve" on Dec. 31, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. I think that's a grand idea--the association between museums and holidays is a good one, in my mind. Here is the description of the Currier event: Northern New England’s biggest family-friendly New Year’s Eve event gets better every year. Ring in 2015 a few hours early at the Currier … [Read more...]

Directorial Job News: Emily Neff Out, Benedict Leca In

BenedictFull11.20.14

Emily Neff, who took the job as director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma just last January, left the job quietly last month. Neff, who was formerly curator of American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, resigned--probably under pressure--in early October, according to local reports, and it was accepted by the university president, David Boren, and then in late October by the board of regents. . I have not been able to reach Neff, so I will not be able to go into details. But my understanding from … [Read more...]

Oops: There’s Bigger News Today From Sotheby’s – UPDATED

Ruprecht

William Ruprecht, the CEO, is stepping down, and the board has begun a search for a new chief executive. Obviously, while I was busy here writing about the Georgia O'Keeffe record sale today at Sotheby's, a lot more was happening on York Avenue in NYC. The announcement arrived a short time ago: Ruprecht, who has served as CEO since 2000, will continue as Chairman, President and CEO until his successor is in place to ensure a smooth transition. The Board has formed a Search Committee to oversee the recruiting of a new CEO and has retained … [Read more...]

Sotheby’s Roars Back In American Art

GO'KJimson Weed

Years ago, when I first started covering auctions, Sotheby's always had the best American art sales. Lots of people didn't even bother going to Christie's to look, I recall. But that changed, and for the last several years, as in most categories, Christie's has surpassed Sotheby's in this category, getting the best art and posting the best sales totals.  Not this week. Thanks to three consignments by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Sotheby's sale today reached $75.4 million, far exceeding it presale high estimate of $46 million--though that … [Read more...]

Revealed: Roman Hoard, Found In France, Conserved Here

B-cup

Imagine being a French farmer, plowing your field near a village named Berthouville in rural Normandy; it's 1830. And you hit something, stop and discover the first items in a trove that grew to 90 silver and gilt-silver statuettes and vessels dating to the 3rd century and before. It happened, and now, after four years of conservation work at the Getty Museum, they went on view today at the Getty Villa. Known as the Berthouville Treasure, they appear to be an ancient offering to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury, the museum says. It's the first … [Read more...]

Tomorrow’s Museum Leaders–And A Few Of Today

Amada-Cruz-phoenix-art-museum.JPG

Whether or not they ever become museum directors, the twelve curators who were named this week as the eighth class of fellows at the Center for Curatorial Leadership* are signalling their ambition. It's a well-rounded group, coming from ten American museums plus two overseas museums--in Denmark and the Netherlands. But before we get to them, let me link to two people who were named museum directors this week (aside fr0m new president of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Don Bacigalupi): John B. Ravenal (right), modern and contemporary … [Read more...]

Breaking News: Don Bacigalupi Leaving Crystal Bridges

Bacigalupi

Don Bacigalupi has been president of Crystal Bridges only since February, 2013, but now he is leaving to become the Founding President of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which George Lucas intend to erect in Chicago. It is not without controversy. The recently released design concept, put forward by MAD Architects, has been criticized. People don't approve of its "space-mountain-like design." Still it has a proposed opening date of 2018. Previously, Bacigalupi was director of Crystal Bridges, and I'm not sure anyone ever understood … [Read more...]

Mass MoCA Closes In On Its Original Promise

Turrell

"It's really exciting to see a lot of the promise of that project being realized," Michael Govan told me the other day. I was telling him that, tomorrow, the Massachusetts Museum of Contempory Art plans to announce six new partnerships with artists and artists' foundations that will fill 90,000 square feet. That's a huge chunk of the new space being renovated in the expansion that I wrote about in August for The New York Times. Mass MoCA's new partners are big names: James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, plus the Robert Rauschenberg … [Read more...]

Detroit: Time To Put Artists On The Spot?

WarholDollarSign

Supporters of the Detroit Institute of Arts have been celebrating for almost a week now--it was last Friday that the court ruled in favor of the Grand Bargain, which buys freedom for the DIA. But with a catch: the museum still has to raise more than $10 million to reach its $100 million mandated contribution to the deal. And then it must raise about $300 million over the next eight or so years for its endowment, to replace the money it is receiving from the millage tax--which ends after 10 years from its inception. Plus, it always has to … [Read more...]

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