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“Artless” In America: Why, Oh Why?

181-michael-lind

What irony. And what a contradiction. Here we are in an era when paintings and sculpture regularly make national headlines and television newscasts for selling at sky-high prices and, at the same time, we are know-nothings about art. And we care less. The latter half of that contradiction was asserted several days ago by Michael Lind (at right), a writer whose last of 14 books (listed on his Wikipedia page) was a 2012 economic history of the U.S. He has also been an editor or staff writer at magazines including The New … [Read more...]

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

MoMAAlz5_photoJasonBrownrigg-300x200

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...]

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...]

Very Sad Breaking News

art5279widea

I just received an email saying that Michael Rush, the founding director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, had died after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Rush was also, of course, the director of the Rose Museum at Brandeis University when the president and trustees there tried to sell off its collection in 2009. Because he opposed that idea, Rush's contact was not renewed. Today's statement from MSU continued: “On behalf of the MSU community, I would like to express my deepest condolences to … [Read more...]

What’s Up With The Met’s Lauder Center?

Rabinow-Rebecca-web

That was the question on my mind when I proposed a story on it for the annual New York Times special section on museums, which was part of today's paper. The result is headlined A Gift That Could Rewrite Art History in the paper (it's different--and too "newsy" a headline on the web--bt that's journalism today. Interestingly, the Times usually shows the writer the print head, but not the web head). In any case, here's the link to the article. The Lauder Research Center for Modern Art has an enviable $22 million endowment of its own and is … [Read more...]

It’s Official: A New Director For National Gallery

GFinaldi

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...]

Bouvier Shenanigans, Chapter Two: Steve Cohen

YBouvier

When I cited that article in Le Temps, a newspaper in Geneva, to identify the buyer of Leonardo's Salvator Mundi (Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev), I hadn't read far enough: Yves Bouvier (pictured), the broker-dealer who sold the Leonardo to Rybolovlev--allegedly committing fraud (which his lawyer denies)--also may have used the same tactic when he sold a Modigliani nude owned by Steve Cohen to the Russian. Here's how it worked, supposedly: Rybolovlev paid Bouvier $118 million for the Modigliani, but Cohen received $93.5 million for … [Read more...]

Buyer of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi Identified–UPDATED

SalvatorMundi

Along with, supposedly, the final price tag. He is Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev and he is said to have bought the painting for $127 million. When I last left this subject, in November, 2013, I said that the painting has been sold to a private collector in Europe.  In March, 2014, the New York Times picked up the sale and put the price tag at around $75- to $80 million. Now a lawsuit filed in Monaco says that Rybolovlev bought the work in May 2103, through Swiss dealer and free-port king Yves Bouvier. Rybolovlev is suing Bouvier, … [Read more...]

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