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Stanford: The New Art Place To Be

Mitchell-BeginAgainIV

Many in the art world have been anticipating the opening on Sept. 21 of the collection of Harry and Mary Margaret Anderson at Stanford -- even from afar. In 2011, the couple donated 121 works of contemporary art, filled with paintings by the likes of Pollock, Diebenkorn, Rothko Elsworth Kelly, de Kooning, Joan Mitchell (Begin Again IV at left), and Elizabeth Murray, to name a few, to Stanford on the condition that it build galleries to house them. Stanford is offering timed tickets, starting in mid-August -- but they are free.   But Stanford … [Read more...]

Cincinnati Hires A Director, As Another Curator Departs

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The news actually came out yesterday in an afternoon press release (but I was a little busy yesterday with other news): the board of the Cincinnati Art Museum has chosen Cameron Kitchin as the museum’s director. Kitchin previously headed the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tenn.  In the press release, the board indicated that he is "a nationally recognized innovator and leader in the museum field."  I confess I've not noticed him before, though that may have more to do with the PR department there and the lack of national news … [Read more...]

Detroit Creditors Stir Up More Trouble

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Just when things were looking good for the Detroit Institute of Arts, what with pensioners approving the "grand bargain" that allows the DIA to buy its freedom from the city, and with the DIA getting close to its goal of raising $100 million for the grand bargain to work, another creditor has come along to rock the boat. The Financial Guaranty Insurance Company hired Victor Weiner Associates to assess the value of the collection and, in a rush job, VWA put a total value on it of $8.5 billion. You may recall that another "complete collection … [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

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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...]

LA To Get Yet Another Contemporary Art Museum

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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...]

China: Museum-Building Slows Down

798ArtZone

China is still building museums like a maniacal child erecting skyscrapers with Legos -- but the rate has now slowed from one a day last year to one every three days, according to Cathy Giangrande, the co-author (with Miriam Clifford and Antony White) of  the new Chinese Museums Association Guide, which updates their 2009 book China: Museums. The Sinosphere blog of The New York Times just did a Q&A with Giangrande. In it, she reveals some noteworthy thoughts -- or updates on what we know. To wit: "In terms of content, one of the … [Read more...]

Timken Intrigue, Part 2: The Power Play

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If a dispute isn't about money, it's usually about power. And that is what appears to be behind the problems at the Timken Museum of Art (below). Not programs, not old-school art versus contemporary art, not money. When we last wrote about the Timken, we weren't quite sure whether director John Wilson quit or was pushed out or why. It's not quite true that the board disagreed with Wilson's strategy, as several people including me surmised. Wilson has done a fine job. Attendance when he took over in 2008 was about 143,000. Last year, it was … [Read more...]

Intrique: Director of Timken Museum Is Out

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This Wednesday, John Wilson, Executive Director of the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, is set to give a gallery talk titled "Brave New World: from Icons to the Future." As I write this, that's what the museum website says. It may be a broken link by the time you read this post, though, because Wilson (pictured at right) quit or was pushed out last week, just before the holiday. His name has been removed from the Board/Staff page of the site, though his replacement's name isn't yet there. That would be, according to various reports, David … [Read more...]

Do Opera And Art Museums Mix? An Experiment

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If you are up near Cooperstown, N.Y. this summer, you may want to stop in at the Fenimore Art Museum, not just for its fine collections of American art, or its current special show, Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life, from the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie -- both worth a visit. I'm singling out instead an exhibition of woodblock prints called Madame Butterfly's World: Woodblock Prints of a Changing Japan. Now, I like Japanese prints but the main reason I think this is an excellent show is its timing -- the Fenimore mounted the show … [Read more...]

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