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The Whitney Tests the Market: $$$ And Hours


The Whitney Museum announced it new admission charges and new hours this afternoon--and both will test the market. General admission will go up to $22, from $20, while seniors and students can get in for $18. That's no surprise, given the cost of erecting and moving to the new building downtown. And it's still less than the Guggenheim and MoMA, which both charge $25 for general admission. Interestingly, perhaps reinforcing its focus on the young, MoMA asks for $14 from students and $18 from seniors. The Gugg is like the Whitney, charging $18 … [Read more...]

Menil Collection Starts Drawing Center


Nearly 40 years after the creation of The Drawing Center in New York, the Menil Collection in Houston has broken ground on The Menil Drawing Institute (pictured below)--and I haven't seen any national publicity. Could it be that the subject is "drawings?" Not very sexy to most editors. It will be interesting to watch the Menil's trajectory. The two, New York and Houston, are a little different, as follows: The Drawing Center is the only fine arts institution in the U.S. to focus solely on the exhibition of drawings, both historical and … [Read more...]

Crystal Bridges Reshuffles PostWar Galleries With 2014 Acquisitions


The postwar and contemporary art galleries at the Crystal Bridges Museum have always been the weakest part of the collection, but steadily the museum has been filling out the collection. Sixteen acquisitions in this category, all made in 2014, were announced on Friday--I broke the news Thursday evening in a small item in The New York Times (scroll down; it's the last of four items)--valued at about $20 million. The works include Robert Rauschenberg's The Tower and three paintings and two works on paper by Helen Frankenthaler, including Seven … [Read more...]

It’s Official: A New Director For National Gallery


As I predicted here on Jan. 4, the National Gallery in London has chosen Gabriele Finaldi to succeed Nicholas Penny. The NG made the announcement this morning, saying: Dr Finaldi will take up his new position 17 August 2015. Current Director, Dr Nicholas Penny announced his retirement in summer 2014. Dr Finaldi, a British citizen, is currently Deputy Director for Collections and Research at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid where he has been since 2002. He was formerly a Curator at the National Gallery, London between 1992 and 2002 where … [Read more...]

Breaking: Met Names New President


The Met's board of trustees this afternoon anointed Daniel H. Weiss, who is 57, as president, succeeding Emily K. Rafferty, who is retiring as of Mar. 31. He has a tough act to follow, and he will undoubtedly bring different skills to the job. For one thing, he is an "accomplished art historian" who is currently president of Haverford College. That will change the dynamic between the president and the director, Thomas P. Campbell. Rafferty always assiduously avoided commenting on matters about art--even though she spent some 40 years at the … [Read more...]

The Coke Bottle And The High: Too Close For Comfort?


The commercialization and entertainmentization of art museums continues. The High Museum in Atlanta just stooped to mounting an exhibit titled The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100.  Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca-Cola and the company is probably a major benefactor of many organizations, including the High, in Atlanta. But still. I could not find, in a fairly quick search, how much money Coke gives to the High. But it may be substantial. Interestingly, the "vice chair-exhibitions" of the High's board of trustees is Michael Keough, … [Read more...]

Monumental Art Undertaking in Saudi Arabia: Needs Partners


In yesterday's post, I mentioned the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dhahran, in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, which just partnered with LACMA. The Center, pictured below, hasn't received much national press in the U.S. (though apparently it held a meeting with the press at Art Dubai). It's a venture of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned global petroleum and chemicals giant of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At its founding, it had American oil companies as partners, but no more (they're not listed in "History" on the website, … [Read more...]

The Heard Museum Loses Its Director To…


More musical chairs. The other day the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa announced that it had hired James Pepper Henry as its new executive director; he starts Mar. 30. Pepper Henry (at right) has a lot of experience with Native American art. Before the Heard, he had been director of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, associate director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, founding director of the Kanza Museum in Kaw City, Okla.; interim curator of American Indian Art at the Portland Art Museum; gallery director at the … [Read more...]

Remember That Retracted Announcement from Chicago?


Right before Christmas, I posted news from the Art Institute of Chicago about a new Associate Curator in the Department of Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture--Rebecca Long. It was news largely because it was another defection from the Indianpolis Museum of Art. Then the AIC retracted. It has all been fixed, and Long is indeed the new curator in Chicago. Here's the AIC press release and here is my original post, which explained the significance. … [Read more...]

Whitney’s New Collection Database: The Good And The Requested


In the runup to its move downtown this spring (to the building at right), the Whitney Museum just announced an expanded online database of its permanent collection. It's grown from 700 works of art to more than 21,000 by some 3,000 artists--"spanning all mediums—painting, sculpture, film, video, photography, works on paper, installation, and new media." Along with images of the works, this searchable database also includes written text, resources for teachers, as well as audio and video files, providing a deeper insight into select pieces. … [Read more...]

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