an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise

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 to select an insider. I don't know Salort-Pons (pictured at right), so I can't say much more from personal experience. here are highlights from his resume, per the DIA press release: For the DIA, Salort-Pons has … [Read more...]

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 more. This represents a 30% increase from the previous year. Then there was even better news in an email from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where the metrics seem to be astounding. The … [Read more...]

Common Sense From Gary Vikan

Maybe retirement, if that's what Gary Vikan--former head of the Walters Art Museum--had entered, loosens inhibitions. Vikan's editorial in today's Wall Street Journal may not have been written if he still had the job. It's headlined The Case for Buying Antiquities to Save Them.  It's about the unrelenting damage being perpetrated by ISIS, of course. It challenges the "prevailing view among archaeologists, reflected in bills in Congress, [that we should] ....exclude from the U.S. all antiquities thought to originate in those … [Read more...]

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, Mass. nearly three decades ago--wants to start another massive art venue nearby. The new art palace would create 160,000-sq. ft. of gallery space on North Adams's Harriman-West Airport grounds. Said the Eagle: The … [Read more...]

“Artless” In America: Why, Oh Why?

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…)

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

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

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…

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

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...]

an ArtsJournal blog