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Archives for April 2013

Mellon And MoMA: A New Kind Of Research Team?

Museums conduct all kinds of research, if sometimes fitfully. Recently, I learned of a new effort, though, which might break some ground. It brings graduate students and faculty to a museum’s collection. It’s happening at the Museum of Modern Art and funded by the Mellon Foundation, though neither one of them has published a press […]

How Do You Say Sic Transit Gloria In German?

In Frankfurt this summer, the Städel Museum is presenting “a major survey on the lifework of the famous painter and graphic artist.” Running from July 3 to Sept. 29, it will show an artist “once celebrated by the public and art critics alike as the ‘greatest German master’.” His name is Hans Thoma.  Who? Yes, “Hans Thoma: ‘The German People’s Favourite […]

Those Infamous Chinese Bronzes Are Headed Home

Two Chinese bronzes, a rat head and a rabbit head, allegedly looted from Beijing’s Summer Palace in the 19th century, owned for a while by Yves Saint Laurent, “purchased” at the auction of his art in 2009 for $37.7 million by a Chinese national who then refused to pay, are headed home. And it’s all about business. […]

In Art, A Male-Female Difference

As long as I can remember, I’ve been troubled by what I have here called “the male gap,” the fact that art seems to be much more appreciated by women than men. At least it’s women who go to museums more frequently. I don’t think that’s because of museum hours anymore — though it used to […]

Perez Collection Disappoints Some: Buyers Remorse?

The controversy over the Miami Art Museum, which traded its name for $35 million to Jorge Perez in 2011, had died down. Trustees who quit over the decision and outside opponents (including me) had no choice but to grin and bear it: the $220 million project proceeded despite complaints that the Perez gift was not large […]

People In The News Lately

Let’s catch up on a few personnel changes announced in recent days: The first, and should be biggest, news: Jim Leach resigned yesterday from his job as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fact that this did not make news says something about his tenure there. I watch for the NEH’s grant […]

MoMA Faces More Opposition To Folk Art Museum Plans

The Museum of Modern Art has been getting a lot of pushback on its decision to demolish the American Folk Art Museum — it’s increasing, rather than diminishing, and more big names are joining in. For example, the Architectural League of New York has just sent an open letter to MoMA against the plan, signed not only by […]

In Birmingham: The Power of Art

Last week, I posted here about museums that give space and exposure to regional and local artists, past and present. The Birmingham Museum of Art is, apparently, among them, although I did not know it at the time. Here, in part, is what the marketing director, Cate McCusker Boehm, wrote to me afterwards — a sweet […]

Stealthily, The Barnes Foundation Hikes Admission Prices

Late last month, I finally got to the New Barnes Foundation in downtown Philadelphia. It’s always a pleasure to see those paintings, but I tend to agree with the commenters who’ve found the replication of the old hanging in the new building to be jarring. Kind of old wine in new bottles — doesn’t work for […]

Remember That Rediscovered LeBrun?

It now belongs to the Metropolitan Museum.* In January, I posted here about The Sacrifice of Polyxena by Charles Le Brun, which had been found in the Coco Chanel Suite at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris by the London-based fine art consultant Joseph Friedman. It was put up for sale on Monday, and the Met bought […]

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