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The Brooklyn, The Whitney…Oh My! (Or, While I Was Away…)

Donna de Salvo

I didn't actually post here at RCA that I would be away for about a week around the Memorial Day weekend, so I am sure that it looked as if I was perhaps speechless last week when major announcements came out from the Brooklyn Museum* and the Whitney Museum. I was simply AWOL--in Spain, actually, taking advantage of the strong dollar. I had a marvelous time viewing art in Madrid and nearby towns, and one visit is pertinent to those two aforementioned announcements. Not the Brooklyn release, which named Anne Pasternak as successor to … [Read more...]

Something Good To Say About MoMA

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You hear so much about museums seeking out young audiences, the audiences of the future. It's tiresome, actually, and that quest ignores another giant portion of the country's population--seniors. Seniors make up nearly 15 percent of the U.S. population and that's nothing to ignore. So I was glad to learn recently of a new program at, of all places, the Museum of Modern Art, which has been a big target of criticism of late, mostly because of the Bjork exhibit and the tear-down of the folk art museum building, but also just in general. On May … [Read more...]

Bravo: Even the Whimsy At A Few Museums Is About Art

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I love it when that's so. I was reminded of this at the new Whitney last week. I had been meaning to return to the subject since I visited the New Britain Museum of American Art several weeks ago to review the Otis Kaye exhibition for The Wall Street Journal. There, the museum seating is not just any seating; it's a collection of benches bought by the museum from contemporary artists. At the Whitney, as you may have read, the elevators are design by Richard Artschwager (one pictured below, at bottom_. All of this signals that art is not … [Read more...]

First Thoughts On the New Whitney

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After visiting the new Whitney Museum twice, for a total of about five hours, I've come to some tentative conclusions--first and foremost, that it's a successful building for art, which always be the prime goal of an art museum. I went into this blog's archives to see what I thought when I first saw the plans--in 2011, at the groundbreaking ceremony. I recall a lot of negativity at the time, but I disagreed: ...I may rue this day, but I’m going out on a limb regarding the architecture: Piano’s design, based on the drawings and sketches I’ve … [Read more...]

The Shocking Cooper Hewitt

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Many curtain-raisers for and reviews of the newly renovated and reconceived Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum have focused on its use of technology to make the museum interactive, participatory and therefore supposedly of more interest to young generations who are not satisfied with just looking. One recent Saturday, I finally made it to this new incarnation to see for myself. I didn't mind the interactive technology. I liked much of it. Some of it was fun to play with. At one station, I designed a lovely outdoor sculpture. I did not get … [Read more...]

Breaking Now: The MFA Names A New Director

MTeitelbaum

And it's Matthew Teitelbaum, currently director of the Art Gallery of Ontario. If you read yesterday's post here, you'll know that's one down--of many museum director jobs open along the East coast--and many more to come. In fact, I hear that another I mentioned yesterday will be announcing in the next week, or ten days. Meanwhile, back to Teitelbaum: Teitelbaum was appointed Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in 1998 after having first joined the museum in 1993 as Chief Curator. With a vision to transform the Gallery into … [Read more...]

Another Opening, Another…

BolgerD

I'm not talking about "Kiss Me, Kate" or another show. I'm talking about art museum directorships. Doreen Bolger, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art (pictured at right), just announced that she is retiring, effective June 15. That's not much notice. On March 19, Michael Conforti (at left) announced that he'd be retiring on Aug. 31 after 20 years as director of the Clark Art Institute. Up and down the East coast, at least, major directorships are open: the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Morgan Library and Museum, the Brooklyn … [Read more...]

The Whitney Tests the Market: $$$ And Hours

Whitney

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

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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

Sobel-Hiroshima

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...]

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