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Big Questions Re: Museum of African Art’s New Dream

MfAfricanArt

There was alarming news in the article in Wednesday's New York Times about the Museum for African Art here in NYC, and it wasn't ab0ut the shrinking of the building or even the gallery space. It was about the shrinking of the board -- to six people! That is way too small for a non-profit, where aside from choosing the leader/director, raising money -- get or give -- is one of its most important functions. The article said: The number of trustees — who usually are expected to provide an overwhelming majority of contributions — has shrunk … [Read more...]

If “Creative Director” Title Fits A Museum, Why Not?

MassimilianoGioni

News the other day that the National Academy had elected 13 new Academicians reminded me that I meant to comment on the new title there, announced in the recent shakeup by Carmine Branagan, the director. First, the new members: visual artists Ida Applebroog, Jane Dickson, Martin Puryear, Edward Ruscha, Joan Semmel and Stanley Whitney; and architects Peter Bohlin, Preston Scott Cohen, Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss, Eric Owen Moss, Antoine Predock and Charles Renfro. Second, the idea: you will  recall that several weeks ago, Branagan … [Read more...]

And Here’s Another New Contemporary Art Museum

ZeitzMOCAA_interior

On a completely different continent and in a completely different scale from the news about Los Angeles, there is word of another contemporary art museum -- African contemporary art. This proposed museum, which sounds quite wonderful if it happens, is in Capetown. On Cape Town's waterfront at the southern tip of Africa, the world's biggest museum of contemporary art from across the continent is being carved from a conglomeration of concrete tubes nine storeys high. The $50 million (36.7 million euro) project to transform the grim … [Read more...]

Timken Mess, Part 3: Hugh Davies Adds Perspective

hugh-davies

The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, as you'll recall, is a governance mess: trustees have caused Executive Director John Wilson, a professional, to resign and have replaced him with a well-known art restorer who will run the museum part time from New York City. See my posts here and here. That's no way to run a museum. The saddest thing, as reported in a piece last week by KPBS, the public radio station, is that locals now see the museum as regressing. Wilson had boosted attendance and raised some money, but apparently also thought the … [Read more...]

Save The Corcoran Plaintiffs Receive Standing

SavetheCorc

Just in: D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Okun has granted standing, aka petition to intervene, to nine of the 19 people who, as part of Save the Corcoran, asked to be part of the case to stop the mergers put forward by the museum's trustees. The 9 include current students, staff and faculty. The judge reportedly told the attorney representing the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery that he expects further justification of the mergers with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University as the way forward for the gallery and the … [Read more...]

LA To Get Yet Another Contemporary Art Museum

FarmersMerchants_LAC

Maybe it got little notice nationally because it's still just a paper plan, but it looks as if Los Angeles will get another contemporary art museum. It's called the Old Bank District Museum and it's the brainchild of a real estate developer named Tom Gilmore. He has hired architect Tom Wiscombe, and they are planning "an epic, locally minded art institution within the stalwart structures shouldering Main and Fourth Streets." That's in LA's "historic core district." The buildings involved are the Hellman, Farmers and Merchants Bank Building … [Read more...]

Let’s All Help Save Syria’s Treasures: A Plan

GreatMosque-Aleppo

Everyone has been very worried about the state of cultural heritage properties in Syria during this civil war. There have been irregular reports but they all suggest that Old Aleppo, the Krak des Chevaliers, many medieval Christian cemeteries and dozens of archaeological sites and museums have been damaged -- or, as a new release from an organization trying to do something put it, "subjected to extensive raiding and looting." In late June, the Penn Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center in Philadelphia and the Smithsonian Institution, along … [Read more...]

“Anonymous” Women, Once Again

2950828_orig

It's that time of year -- actually, it's a little past that time of year -- when the Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation makes public the ten female artists who will receive $25,000 no strings attached, just to support them. This is the 19th set of winners  -- and I was there at the creation, sort of. So I sometimes like to publicize the winners (which were announced on July 2). The awards go to women over 40 "who have significantly contributed to their field, while continuing to grow and pursue their work." This year they are: Janine … [Read more...]

DIA Reaches Almost 80% of “Grand Bargain” Goal

detroit-institute-of

That was the news out of the Detroit Institute of Arts' press conference this morning: It has another $26.8 million in commitments from corporations pledged toward the $100 million it agreed to raise to buy its independence in the Detroit bankruptcy. The new money in today's announcement came from: $10 million from Roger S. Penske and Penske Corporation, $5 million from DTE Energy, $5 million from Quicken Loans and the Rock Ventures Family of Companies, $2.5 million from BCBSM, $1 million from Meijer, $1 million from Comerica … [Read more...]

American Art Bonanza Left By Richard Mellon Scaife

JohnKane

Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, scion of two wealthy families, died on July 4, leaving a large art collection -- apparently -- to two small Pennsylvania Museums. Scaife's attorney called the art collection "expansive." And according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- which Scaife owned: The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg and Brandywine Conservancy near Philadelphia will split Scaife's art collection, according to the will. The will allows the organizations to decide how to divide the collection and sets up a rotating … [Read more...]

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