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Act Now, If You Care About The Fate Of The Corcoran

OAG seal _sm_0

You'll remember that the Corcoran's struggles were "resolved" in May, when the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University split responsibilities for its future, subject to the approval of Superior Court of the District of Columbia. That court is now seeking opinions of interested parties before making its determination. On Thursday, it issued a "Notice of Cy Pres Petition of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design," which said in part: ...the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art have filed a petition … [Read more...]

Boom: AAMD Sanctions Delaware Museum


Quickly, as it should be, the Association of Art Museum Directors today sanctioned the Delaware Art Museum for deaccessioning William Holman Hunt's Isabella and the Pot of Basil yesterday. It was totally expected. The notice reads, in part: ...we ask our members to suspend any loans of works of art to, and any collaborations on exhibitions with, the Delaware Art Museum, until notified by us that the sanctions have been suspended or removed.  While each of our members needs to consider this request individually and make its own decision, it is … [Read more...]

What’s Left Unsaid About the Delaware Deaccession


Today's sad sale at Christie's in London, where Isabella and the Pot of Basil, which was being deaccessioned by the Delaware Art Museum, failed to raise much money -- just $4.24 on the hammer, versus a low estimate of $8.4 million (and we don't know if Christie's waived the commission or not) -- begs another look at the situation there. Just last week, no less an authority than Timothy Rub, director of the Philadelphia Art Museum, writing against the deaccessions in the Wall Street Journal, wrote:  "Given its importance, the work may fetch … [Read more...]

Flash: Christie’s Sells “Isabella” for Delaware


For half the low estimate. Today's sale in London must be shaking trustees of the Delaware Art Museum. Isabella and the Pot of Basil just sold for £2.5 million, hammer price. That's $4.24 million.  The presale estimate was £5 million to £8 million.  It was hard to tell from the Internet view, but it looked like there was just one bidder.  So, I guess trustees should forget any thoughts they may have had of selling just three works of art to make their $30 million goal. … [Read more...]

Speculation: Is Delaware’s Calder Next?

I hate to play the speculation game, but that's what happens sometimes when museums try to hide their activities. So I report what the Wilmington News Journal is saying about the next work of art being deacessioned by the Delaware Art Museum: Alexander Calder's prominent "Black Crescent" mobile has been removed from the Delaware Art Museum's East Court and its collections database, making it potentially the third work the museum will sell by October. The museum's CEO, Mike Miller, would neither confirm nor deny whether or not the mobile will … [Read more...]

All-in-All, A Good Plan at the Frick


In a place like Manhattan, I almost never want to see green space disappear. And that will be one upshot of the Frick Collection's proposed expansion, which was announced this morning in a press release. To gain 42,000 square feet -- which "will house more gallery space, an expanded entrance hall, additional space for the Frick’s world-renowned art reference library, new classrooms, a 220-seat auditorium, expanded administrative space, and updated conservation laboratories, as well as a rooftop garden terrace for museum visitors -- the Frick* … [Read more...]

Monday To Bring “Major Grand Bargain” Announcement — UPDATED


That's what the press announcement from the Detroit Institute of Arts said on Friday morning about 10:30 a.m. The DIA is holding a press conference at 11 a.m. in the Rivera Courtyard. I was hopeful that the DIA had raised all the money, $100 million, it needs to meet the demands of the Emergency Manager and others in the deal. But, no, the news is good, but not quite that good. According to both Detroit papers, the DIA and Gov. Rick Snyder will announce a $26 million gift from the Big Three Automakers. $10 million each will come from Ford … [Read more...]

In Re: DIA — The Moral Of The Michigan Vote Story


The Michigan State Senate took the high road today, and therein lies a moral for not only politicians around the country but also the art world. Marshalling support from left and right, the suite of bills required to enable the so-called Grand Bargain to rescue Detroit, its pensioners and the Detroit Institute of Arts sailed through the senate "with large bi-partisan majorities" and now goes to Republican Governor Rick Snyder to sign. Said the Detroit Free Press: Passage of the bills was a seminal moment in the city’s historic Chapter 9 … [Read more...]

Kevyn Orr Reprimands Detroit Creditors


I don't envy Kevyn Orr, Detroit's emergency manager, that's for sure. Tough as his job is, he also has to contend with the nastiness surrounding the city's bankruptcy -- which always happens, as in any bankruptcy, someone has to lose out. This past weekend, Orr (at right) made a speech on Mackinac Island in which he blasted the “misinformation” campaign being waged by financial creditors (among other things), according to The Detroit News. Good for him. The News said: At an event showcasing bankrupt Detroit’s comeback, Emergency Manager … [Read more...]

North Miami MoCA: Where Are The Grown-Ups?


It's hard not to read the article in the Miami Herald posted yesterday and headlined Board rejects North Miami’s nominee for Museum of Contemporary Art director without either laughing or shaking your head. Here's why:  The museum’s board of trustees — which has said it wants to move the museum’s collection to Miami Beach’s Bass Museum of Art — said Wednesday it would no longer consider the city of North Miami’s designee for new museum director.  “The Board provided the candidate, Mr. Babacar M’Bow [at right], with a two-week window to … [Read more...]

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