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Crystal Bridges Reshuffles PostWar Galleries With 2014 Acquisitions

Sobel-Hiroshima

The postwar and contemporary art galleries at the Crystal Bridges Museum have always been the weakest part of the collection, but steadily the museum has been filling out the collection. Sixteen acquisitions in this category, all made in 2014, were announced on Friday--I broke the news Thursday evening in a small item in The New York Times (scroll down; it's the last of four items)--valued at about $20 million. The works include Robert Rauschenberg's The Tower and three paintings and two works on paper by Helen Frankenthaler, including Seven … [Read more...]

Exhibitions To See This Spring

vmfa2-Manet

As usual for the past few years, I also compiled a list of about 30 exhibitions at museums around the country that are on view now or will be on view this spring and summer for The New York Times's Museums special section. That's not so easy. I look at hundreds of exhibition descriptions and images, and I strive to choose a balance to appeal to many tastes. So there's always a mix of Old Masters (though few this year), 19th Century European, American, Asian and modern and contemporary art. Sometime I throw in a manuscript exhibit if there's … [Read more...]

What’s Up With The Met’s Lauder Center?

Rabinow-Rebecca-web

That was the question on my mind when I proposed a story on it for the annual New York Times special section on museums, which was part of today's paper. The result is headlined A Gift That Could Rewrite Art History in the paper (it's different--and too "newsy" a headline on the web--bt that's journalism today. Interestingly, the Times usually shows the writer the print head, but not the web head). In any case, here's the link to the article. The Lauder Research Center for Modern Art has an enviable $22 million endowment of its own and is … [Read more...]

It’s Official: A New Director For National Gallery

GFinaldi

As I predicted here on Jan. 4, the National Gallery in London has chosen Gabriele Finaldi to succeed Nicholas Penny. The NG made the announcement this morning, saying: Dr Finaldi will take up his new position 17 August 2015. Current Director, Dr Nicholas Penny announced his retirement in summer 2014. Dr Finaldi, a British citizen, is currently Deputy Director for Collections and Research at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid where he has been since 2002. He was formerly a Curator at the National Gallery, London between 1992 and 2002 where … [Read more...]

Why Otis Kaye?

OK-EasyCome

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published my review of a little show up at the New Britain Museum of American Art: paintings by Otis Kaye. Kaye (1885-1974) is not very well known--in fact, that's how I began my review. I commend the New Britain museum for taking the show, which was organized, oddly enough, by James M. Bradburne, the departing director of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Bradburne had learned of Kaye when the Palazzo Strozzi presented Art and Illusion, a survey of trompe l'oeil from antiquity to the present, in 2009 (which … [Read more...]

Bouvier Shenanigans, Chapter Two: Steve Cohen

YBouvier

When I cited that article in Le Temps, a newspaper in Geneva, to identify the buyer of Leonardo's Salvator Mundi (Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev), I hadn't read far enough: Yves Bouvier (pictured), the broker-dealer who sold the Leonardo to Rybolovlev--allegedly committing fraud (which his lawyer denies)--also may have used the same tactic when he sold a Modigliani nude owned by Steve Cohen to the Russian. Here's how it worked, supposedly: Rybolovlev paid Bouvier $118 million for the Modigliani, but Cohen received $93.5 million for … [Read more...]

Buyer of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi Identified–UPDATED

SalvatorMundi

Along with, supposedly, the final price tag. He is Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev and he is said to have bought the painting for $127 million. When I last left this subject, in November, 2013, I said that the painting has been sold to a private collector in Europe.  In March, 2014, the New York Times picked up the sale and put the price tag at around $75- to $80 million. Now a lawsuit filed in Monaco says that Rybolovlev bought the work in May 2103, through Swiss dealer and free-port king Yves Bouvier. Rybolovlev is suing Bouvier, … [Read more...]

Breaking: Met Names New President

150310-0031Ateaser

The Met's board of trustees this afternoon anointed Daniel H. Weiss, who is 57, as president, succeeding Emily K. Rafferty, who is retiring as of Mar. 31. He has a tough act to follow, and he will undoubtedly bring different skills to the job. For one thing, he is an "accomplished art historian" who is currently president of Haverford College. That will change the dynamic between the president and the director, Thomas P. Campbell. Rafferty always assiduously avoided commenting on matters about art--even though she spent some 40 years at the … [Read more...]

Badly Bungled Philanthropy

2012 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2

The New York Philharmonic* just gave everyone a lesson in how not to fundraise. I am talking, of course, about the announcement that David Geffen has promised $100 million to the Phil for the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall.  There are two problems with this gift. First, the Phil's leadership seems to have been enchanted by that number, the same amount David Koch gave to rename the New York State Theater after himself five years ago. (And the same amount that Stephen Schwarzman gave to the New York Public Library before that, but that's … [Read more...]

The Coke Bottle And The High: Too Close For Comfort?

coca-cola

The commercialization and entertainmentization of art museums continues. The High Museum in Atlanta just stooped to mounting an exhibit titled The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100.  Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca-Cola and the company is probably a major benefactor of many organizations, including the High, in Atlanta. But still. I could not find, in a fairly quick search, how much money Coke gives to the High. But it may be substantial. Interestingly, the "vice chair-exhibitions" of the High's board of trustees is Michael Keough, … [Read more...]

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