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A Recipe For Trouble At New York City Museum

When more than a half dozen people shake their heads in disbelief at a museum announcement, and make a point of asking me what I think, I’d say it was time to weigh in publicly. The announcement that is raising questions came last Tuesday from the Museum of the City of New York. The board […]

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 […]

Unveiling Hammershoi, A Worthy Exhibition

While I was away–I traveled to Jordan from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, more about which another time–a lot happened in the art world, including the New York fall auction season. But before I go there, I want to share my review of an excellent exhibition at Scandinavia House in NYC. The show is titled Painting […]

Understanding The Auction Season That’s Upon Us

I spent several days in September–and even in late August–reporting an article that appeared as the cover of The New York Times‘s Fine Arts & Exhibitions section, which is officially in the Sunday, Nov. 1 paper. It’s called Anatomy of an Auction, and it has been online already since mid-week last week. The article should […]

“Anonymous” Awards To Women Artists

Once again, the Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation has chosen ten women artists for “no strings” grants of $25,000 each. Since I long ago began covering this–when the awards were first unveiled 20 years ago–I thought I might as well post this year’s winners: Donna Dennis Wendy Ewald Simone Forti Rachel Harrison Pam Lins Jennifer […]

Denver’s Long-running And Contemporary Commitment to Native American Art

As I’ve mentioned here before, the Denver Art Museum has a long historical record of paying attention to Native American art and valuing it for aesthetic rather ethnographic reasons. That’s a big plus for me because it gives museum a specialty that cannot be seen at every museum–and differentiation among museums is a big attribute. […]

Sotheby’s Necessary But Bad Bet

When Sotheby’s took to the press release in early September, announcing that it “won” the consignment to sell the estate of Alfred A. Taubman–the auctioneer’s one-time owner–it raised a lot of questions. While Christie’s competed for the consignment, Sotheby’s had to win–not doing so would have cost it a lot of face. But in the […]

Defending Melissa Chiu…UPDATED

When the Hirshhorn Museum, which has been led for the last year by Melissa Chiu, late of the Asia Society Museum, announced that its 40th anniversary gala would be held in New York, not in Washington, D.C., I too raised my eyebrows. That is a slap in the face to the hometown crowd, I thought. I have […]

Becoming An Art Convert In Spain–And Why

Earlier this year, I made an art pilgrimage to Valladolid, the home of Spain’s National Museum of Sculpture. So much Spanish Renaissance and Baroque sculpture resides and stays in Spain, sometimes because it can’t leave and sometimes because there is no demand to borrow it, and I had felt remiss in not having seen enough Spanish […]

You Can Help Stop Cultural Destruction: Chartres Chapter

Universally recognized as a masterpiece of cultural heritage–inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979–the Cathedral of Our Lady in Chartres is under attack by its would-be restorers. Now maybe you can help stop the dreadful makeover that has been underway for a while. I wrote about this issue, which was ignited by Martin Filler, […]

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