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Opening Soon In Tacoma: New Wing, New Collection

Albert_Bierstadt,_Departure_of_an_Indian_War_Party

Before everyone gets distracted by the opening of the new Harvard Art Museums later this week, let's learn a little about the expansion set to open a day before, on Nov. 15, at the Tacoma Art Museum. I haven't been to Tacoma in about 20 years, and the museum has moved to new quarters since then. Back in 2003, it moved to a $22-million Antoine Predock-designed building. Now it is opening a new wing and entrance to house a collection of Western art donated a few years back. The gift came from a German supermarket mogul, billionaire Erivan … [Read more...]

Zurbarán In The News!

St.Serapion

Since 2012, when TEFAF celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Maastricht art fair has been awarding grants toward the conservation of objects held by museums that have attended the fair in that year. The other day, TEFAF announced the 2104 grants: the €50,000 annual amount from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund will be split between two early paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran. One, St. Serapion (1628) [at right], is owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Ct.; the other, Saint Francis of Assisi in Meditation (c. 1630-1635) [below], is in … [Read more...]

Don’t Miss This Exhibition! (Installation Pictures Included)

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In tomorrow's Wall Street Journal, I review an absolutely wonderful exhibition called Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It's a massive, mesmerizing show that I visited last week--but which I had seen once before, by accident, in Mexico City. I tell that story, very briefly, in my review, headlined A New Perspective on an Overlooked Art Form: A global journey ends in an exhibition that takes folk art seriously. My review begins--like the exhibit--with the three clay … [Read more...]

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

1954_12_Press

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

TerraceOftheHotelMistral

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...]

A Participatory Exhibit I Can Applaud (I Think)

WPhillips

Contrary to some belief out there, I'm not against all participatory, experiential activities in art museums. (I don't believe museums should be as quiet as cathedrals, either, but that's another post.) Here's a participartory program that sounds, in advance, without my being there, like a good one. It's at the Freer-Sackler Galleries* in Washington: in conjunction with the opening on Saturday of Unearthing Arabia: The Archaeological Adventures of Wendell Phillips and "International Archaeology Day" on Oct. 18, the museum has scheduled a … [Read more...]

“Sculpture Victorious,” Yes, But In What Way?

DameAlice

I was recently at the Yale Center for British Art, where Sculpture Victorious: Art in the Age of Invention, 1837-1901, is on view through Nov. 30. It's a fascinating exhibition in many respects, bringing together a very diverse assemblage of objects from a very diverse group of lenders. Looking at one piece, an idealized, imaginary portrait of the first earl of Winchester borrowed from the House of Lords, Michael Hatt, an art history professor at the University of Warwick who is one of three curators of the show, said to me: “It is a mix of … [Read more...]

Matisse Cut-Outs, Records, And Making Art Seem Scarce

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Back in late June, the Museum of Modern Art bought a quarter-page ad on page 2 of the Weekend section of The New York Times; it ran the full length of the left edge. It caught my eye because it announced that timed tickets were on sale as of that day for Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, which opens on Oct. 12. The ad did not, btw, list prices for the tickets -- just the web address for purchases -- but MoMA simply charges general admission for exhibitions, with no added tab. General adult admission is $25. At the time, I thought it was a bit … [Read more...]

What’s New About the New Greek Galleries at MFA?

Menander

Do people learn more at art museums when chronology governs a display or when a thematic narrative rules? It's a perennial question, and traditionally many museums with extensive collections answer it with the former because, with a broad, deep array of art in a particular category, they can. Less well-endowed collections have often gone the thematic route simply because they can't do a civilization or a period justice with their skimpy (or gap-filled) holdings. But not always. Lately more museums are going narrative because they thing … [Read more...]

Crystal Bridges: The Anti-Whitney-Biennial

AMaryKay

Saturday is the day. That's when the art world, which has been wondering what Don Bacigalupi, president of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and assistant curator Chad Alligood have been seeing for the better part of 2013 and much of 2014 on their search for underappreciated artists, will find out. That's when the museum unveils State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now -- their selections. It is definitely an unconventional ride through art in America. I say that even though I haven't seen the show, though the press preview was … [Read more...]

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