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Hunger For Art: Time To Spread It Around?

It’s no secret that the museums in major cities that grew up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries–New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelpia, etc.–generally have great collections, not all of which are ever on view.  Then there are cities, large but newer and never rich, that lack a basic art museum of note. […]

Happy Birthday, and What That Means

One hundred years ago, the last emperor of China abdicated; the Saturday Evening Post published its first Norman Rockwell cover; war raged in Europe and the Near East; Gregory Peck was born; and the Cleveland Museum of Art opened its doors. Thus, as 2015 turned into 2016, the Cleveland museum rang in the start of […]

Museum World: Five To Applaud

It’s tough being a critic, especially a blogging one. No matter one’s natural tendencies to want to like something, you also tend to see the flaws and the disappointments, then end up coming off as a scold. So as the year ends, I thought I would mention a few of the many things going on […]

Broad Expectations: Exceeded

The other day the Broad Museum announced attendance since its opening on Sept. 20: it admitted 177,264 visitors in its first 12 weeks; by the end of this month, it expects more than 200,000 visitors. Those numbers are against a projected annual number of 300,000, the museum says–which was definitely a low-ball number, I would think. […]

Small Museum Makes Waves

For Sotheby’s, the continuing sales of Alfred Taubman’s estate have got to be a disappointment. The auctioneer may not even make back its $500 million-plus guarantee, based on sales of his Impressionist, Modern, contemporary and American art, let alone make a profit. This week, his The Great Florida Sunset (at left) by Martin Johnson Heade sold […]

Flash: The Detroit Institute of Arts Names New Director

They have replaced Graham Beal as director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and it’s an inside job. Salvador Salort-Pons, the current curator of European paintings a the DIA, plus–since 2013–director of collection strategies and information, won the post. Not an easy job ahead of him, but I do think it was wise for the trustees […]

Summer Museum Sightings, Part 2: Thematic Cooperation

More observations from my travels this summer: Several smaller museums got together this summer to create hoopla by agreeing to present variations on a theme. I see this is as a really good thing, and I have heard anecdotally that it worked. That it, the thematic cooperation brought more attention from the media, sometimes even […]

By The Numbers, Good Museum News in Virginia

Earlier this week, when I received an email from the American Folk Art Museum, I thought it was doing well–getting back on its feet after a disastrous over-expansion. Anne-Imelda Radice, the director, wrote that: We closed the fiscal year with great news: 150,018 visitors came through our doors, experiencing exhibitions, programs, events, the shop, and […]

Tom Krens: At It Again?

Tom Krens, the museum consultant formerly known as the director of the Guggenheim Foundation and booster of multi-branch museums, has always lived by the philosophy of “Go Big or Go Home.” Now, he is at it again. Last week, the Berkshire Eagle reported that Krens–who first proposed the creation of Mass MoCA in North Adams, […]

“Softening” The Museum Brand

I couldn’t find a press release on the museum website about this, but a couple of newspapers recently reported that the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is changing its name. And I did find, on the website, an item in “Mia Stories”— its direct to consumer communication. From now on, there will not be an “s” […]

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