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Mistaken At The Getty, And Grateful About It

I’ve been out to the Getty twice in recent months, both times to see (and review) interesting, ambitious exhibitions–one piece, about Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe, will be in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal (and is online, in its slightly longer version, now), and the other, for Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena, […]

If This Can Happen at the Met and the British Museum…We Have A Big Problem

Two completely unrelated news items have prompted this post. It has become pretty clear of late that many people do not know how to behave (gosh, is that too old-fashioned a term, even?) in art museums. On May 4, the New York Post reported that celebs at the Met’s* recent Costume Institute gala had smoked […]

NY Historical Society’s Renovation Opens a Debate

Is more always better? Is it better when it comes to seeing art and artifacts? That’s the question I’ve been pondering since last week, when the New-York Historical Society* opened its new fourth floor. The renovated and recast floor includes a dazzling, two-level display of 100 Tiffany lamps (at left) and a gallery whose exhibitions […]

Sotheby’s Pumps A Nascent Market

It may have been just a matter of time: today Sotheby’s announced an inaugural sale of contemporary African art, saying that this market in recent years has undergone “a long-overdue correction.” Then the press release added, but “there’s still a considerable way to go towards addressing the underrepresentation of African artists, who account for just […]

Who Gets What? David Rockefeller’s Art Bequests

Of all his art interests, we have long known that the Museum of Modern Art came first for David Rockefeller, who died last month. But there were in his will a few other bequests for museums. MoMA is to receive $125 million overall; he had already begun giving MoMA annual $5 million installments to fulfill […]

Smart Move In Brooklyn

A lot of people today are interested in “design.” Unless they are furnishing a home, not all that many are interested in “decorative arts.” They are, of course, fraternal if not identical twins. Yet decorative arts galleries at many museums seem empty, while design exhibitions are crowded. So today’s announcement is welcome news: The Brooklyn […]

American Watercolors: Excellent Exhibition, But…

American Watercolor In the Age of Homer and Sargent, now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is an exhausting exhibition, in a good way. It displays more than 170 artworks and covers the period from the 1860s to 1925. It is, as the press release says, “the most comprehensive loan exhibition in over […]

At The Met, A Most Timely Acquisition

Maybe I should not admit this, but I never heard of Luisa Ignacia Roldán until a few weeks ago, when I learned that the Metropolitan Museum of Art* had recently purchased a polychrome terracotta sculpture by her. Dated 1700-1701, The Entombment of Christ takes up a very common theme in Spanish art of the period. Her interpretation adds […]

Can You Spot the Fake?

It would be a good idea. As the FBI recently warned, speaking about the case of Michigan art dealer Eric Spoutz, who pumped at least 40 forgeries into the market over the past 10 years (h/t to ArtNet) (to learn to spot fakes, that is): Although Spoutz has been sentenced, [agents] McKeogh and Savona do […]

A Trouble With Museum Boards

When I started writing that headline, above, I wrote “the” trouble with… But I quickly corrected myself because, as financial and other troubles have plagued many art museums of late (not least the Metropolitan Museum of Art*), it’s very clear that many museum boards have more than one fault. But a press release today from […]

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