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A Good Show Spoiled

With the weather in New York still fine–and warmish–on Saturday, I ventured up to the New York Botanical Garden for FRIDA: Art, Garden, Life, one of the Garden’s hybrid exhibitions that combines plants and paintings. This one, much like the Garden’s 2012 exhibition titled Monet’s Garden, offers about a dozen works of art, exhibited in […]

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 […]

A Delectable Selection of Native American Art, With Just One Problem

If you read my last post, about thematic exhibition cooperation among museums, you know I was in Santa Fe recently. But why was I in Santa Fe–that’s another story, one that resulted in a review published in The Wall Street Journal last Thursday. It was about an exhibition at the Wheelwright Museum of the American […]

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 […]

What I Learned This Summer: Philadelphia

I’ve been visiting a lot of museums this summer, on more than my usual share of travels. Sometimes I’ve picked up ideas worth sharing–for example, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There, Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting—which runs only through Sept. 13, so hurry to see it–has been pulling in crowds. Tickets […]

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. […]

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, […]

WSJ Masterpiece: The Taj Mahal, As I Saw It

Even if you have never been to the Taj Mahal, you have a picture of it in your mind, right? It’s a full frontal view, and it’s unquestionably beautiful. But there is more to this marvelous, yes, mausoleum, and after going to India last winter, I wanted to say so and explain why. The result […]

“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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