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Miles To Go: The Met Breuer’s Unspoken Task

The Metropolitan Museum* put on a show for the press last week at a briefing on the Met Breuer. It took place, oddly (for the Met) in a black gallery in the main museum building and over cocktails at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Tom Campbell, Sheena Wagstaff, Jeff Rosenheim (photography) and Limor Tomor (performances) spoke. I […]

Acquisitions In the Air–and In Reality

For some reason I cannot fathom, I’ve been receiving many press releases lately about museum acquisitions, by gift or purchase, and in one case, about a wonderful gift to make acquisitions. I hope they keep coming! Let’s look at them in reverse chronological order: This morning came news that the Art Institute of Chicago received more […]

Hunger For Art: Time To Spread It Around?

It’s no secret that the museums in major cities that grew up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries–New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelpia, etc.–generally have great collections, not all of which are ever on view.  Then there are cities, large but newer and never rich, that lack a basic art museum of note. […]

Contemporary Art and the Met–Digging for Nuggets

In this week’s New Yorker magazine, Calvin Tomkins has his crack at explaining the fraught past relationship between the Metropolitan Museum of Art* and contemporary art and plans for the future in an article headlined The Met and the Now. It is a feel-good article, all but a puff piece. Think of it as an […]

A Boomerang at the Metropolitan Museum

Stay tuned this afternoon for a strange and perhaps (a little) juicy announcement from the Metropolitan Museum of Art*. When trustees meet late this afternoon, one item on the agenda will be formal approval of a new trustee designated by the city’s controller, Scott Stringer (below). It will be none other than Harold Holzer, who […]

Antiquities and ISIS: Something Doesn’t Add Up

I care deeply about cultural heritage, and have spent much time over the last year agonizing about the destruction caused by ISIS in the Middle East. The last thing I want is for ISIS to make money on stolen antiquities or, worse in my opinion (though not of others), blow them up completely. The ultimate […]

Will Venice Sell Art to Stay Afloat?

On Jan. 1, I wasn’t paying too much attention to the news, but The Wall Street Journal posted an article that day that should not go unremarked. Headlined As Venice’s Debts Mount, Mayor Pitches Sale of Art, Other Moves to Keep Finances Afloat, it said that the city is some $65 million in the hole at […]

Happy Birthday, and What That Means

One hundred years ago, the last emperor of China abdicated; the Saturday Evening Post published its first Norman Rockwell cover; war raged in Europe and the Near East; Gregory Peck was born; and the Cleveland Museum of Art opened its doors. Thus, as 2015 turned into 2016, the Cleveland museum rang in the start of […]

Expanding Our Art Horizons

In recent years, some museums have begun a push to build their collections in Latin American art and to show more of it in special exhibitions, too. Much of the emphasis has been on modern and contemporary works and/or Spanish Colonial works. That’s why I was pleased to learn about and exhibition that goes, shall we […]

And To All A Good Night…

It’s my tradition at Christmas time to share a beautiful nativity scene with readers of Real Clear Arts. This year, I’ve chosen a painting by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi–a tondo titled Adoration of the Magi and now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, though once in the possession of the Medicis. […]

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