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Coming On Sunday: Frank Gehry’s Colorful Museum


In this week's Sunday New York Times, you'll find annual fall Fine Arts and Exhibitions section. It's full of stories about galleries, art and history museums, technology and the auction business. I didn't write any of them. I was more fascinated by the new Biomuseo in Panama, designed by Frank Gehry, which I mentioned here once before. It's Gehry's only building in Latin America and--seems to me--the only one in which he deploys bright colors as part of his design. They are crayon colors, and signal--to me at least--that this museum wants … [Read more...]

Neuberger Museum Changes Directors–Fast

Paola Morsiani

When Paola Morsiani  became director of the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College in summer 2012, she told The New York Times, referencing the 2010 death of Roy Neuberger: “The principal visionary originator of this institution has passed the baton on to us. On one side, we will continue his legacy, but it is my role to find the courage to initiate new ideas based on new needs.” It looks as if she could not find the right way to change, at least in the eyes of the Neuberger's trustees. Today, after I inquired about rumors that she had … [Read more...]

A Very Ambitious, Private, New Museum For Miami


Get ready for another real estate deal museum, this one in Miami. Somewhere on Biscayne Boulevard, art collector Gary Nader plans to build a museum for Latin American art. It doesn't yet have a site, but it has a design by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, a collection (600 modern and contemporary pieces Nader owns), and an exhibition program: The first year of programming will feature a retrospective of works by Fernando Botero and a Brazilian art exhibit, along with individual shows of works by Latin American masters Roberto Matta, Wifredo … [Read more...]

Once More Into the Storerooms >> Discoveries!


Now it's the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh's turn to find fantastic art works in its storerooms, as many other museums have done. Among the newly discovered pieces: a hand-painted enamel bowl with roundels of butterflies from the Yongzheng period, a “bizarre googly-eyed dragon bowl” and cinnabar lacquer panel (below right) from the Qianlong period, a ritual bronze from the Western Zhou period, a Gupta period Buddha head (at left), a gilded bronze Thai Buddha head and a Bamana Boli figure. Many are going into a reinstallation of the … [Read more...]

The Perelman-Gagosian Brawl


You may not be avid readers of the business section of The New York Times, so you may have missed an article in Sunday's paper headlined The Feud That's Shaking Gallery Walls. In it, Ron Perelman says, "Art is such a beautiful thing. But it’s been sullied by an ugly business. It needs to be fixed.” Do you find it strange that a man who's been buying and selling art for a very long time suddenly decides he's had enough or that he was had? After all, he willingly entered into the transaction he has now gone to court to protest. Here's the … [Read more...]

Detroit Institute Addresses Compensation Complaints


A short time ago, the Detroit Institute of Arts responded to the criticism that has kept it in the news for the wrong reasons this week--and threatened to undermine support for the millage tax that provides $23 million on operating support each year. Board chair Edward Gargaro signed the statement, which said that "unfortunately misunderstandings have occurred." Indeed. In a key paragraph, Gargaro promised to discuss the matter the public officials threatened to repeal the millage: We will continue to provide our community with exceptional … [Read more...]

At The Philbrook: Retrospective For A No-Longer-Needed Exhibition


This Sunday, the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa opens what I think should be a fascinating show: IMPACT: The Philbrook Indian Annual. It's a retrospective on the competition the Philbrook held for 33 years, from 1946 to 1979, open to Native American artists. The museum says that Over the years nearly 1,000 artists from 200 Native American communities entered almost 4,000 works of art for judging, exhibition, awards, and sale. The Philbrook Indian Annual played a pivotal role in the definition of twentieth-century Native American fine art … [Read more...]

Five Questions For Leonard Lauder As The Met Reveals His Cubist Collection


So this week the art world and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's* members are getting a first look at the Leonard Lauder Cubist collection--assembled over the past 40 years. The masterpieces and seminal works he has purchased amount to the best private Cubist collection in existence, by design:  He always has a museum gift in mind as he collects. When I spoke with him in 2012, he said: "Many people collect to possess. I collect to preserve, and no sooner do I have a collection put together than I am looking for a home for it in a public … [Read more...]

Mistake at DIA: A Pay-Raise Ruckus And A Solution


In the last two years or so, I've often praised the Detroit Institute of Arts for conducting itself in the right way--with respect to passing the millage and in how it has handled itself during the city's bankruptcy. Now, though, it has made a major mistake--in terms of optics if not substance. And it may cost the museum big, in terms of local support. Some local legislators are threatening to take action. According to several reports, the board handed out big raises to the top two execs in 2012: Director Graham Beal received a 13% raise … [Read more...]

Mystery Solved: The Man Who Bought The Rothschild Prayerbook


Though I was hoping, last January, that the Getty Museum had purchased the marvelous Rothschild Prayerbook when it came up for auction at Christie's, no press release ever emerged from Brentwood, so I had long since figured that it had disappeared into a private collection and wouldn't be seen for some time. I was wrong. The 150-page prayerbook, you'll recall, is a lavishly illuminated medieval Book of Hours, and at the time of its sale was considered to be the most important illuminated manuscript in private hands. It had been commissioned … [Read more...]

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