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Detroit: Time To Put Artists On The Spot?

WarholDollarSign

Supporters of the Detroit Institute of Arts have been celebrating for almost a week now--it was last Friday that the court ruled in favor of the Grand Bargain, which buys freedom for the DIA. But with a catch: the museum still has to raise more than $10 million to reach its $100 million mandated contribution to the deal. And then it must raise about $300 million over the next eight or so years for its endowment, to replace the money it is receiving from the millage tax--which ends after 10 years from its inception. Plus, it always has to … [Read more...]

A Few Differences With the Met Re: Madame Cezanne

MCin aRed Dress

Not me, of course. I haven't seen the exhibit Madame Cezanne, which opens next Wednesday at the Metropolitan Museum*--though you can bet I will get there soon. Seeing  twenty-four of the artist's twenty-nine known portraits of his wife Hortense sounds inviting to me. ...the exhibition explores the profound impact she had on Cézanne's portrait practice. The works on view were painted over a period of more than twenty years, but despite this long liaison, Hortense Fiquet's prevailing presence is often disregarded and frequently diminished in … [Read more...]

Strategic Timing: Christie’s Gallery Announcement

ChristiesWestGalleries

Last week, just as the bellwether fall sales of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art in New York were about to begin, Christie's announced that it was going deeper into dealer territory. Not with that headline, of course. The press release was titled CHRISTIE’S OPENS NEW ART SPACE IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER, and it said that architect Annabelle Selldorf, whose work can be seen in many NYC commercial galleries as well the renovated Clark Art Institute, had designed the new galleries. There are four of them, plus five private viewing rooms, … [Read more...]

Opening Soon In Tacoma: New Wing, New Collection

Albert_Bierstadt,_Departure_of_an_Indian_War_Party

Before everyone gets distracted by the opening of the new Harvard Art Museums later this week, let's learn a little about the expansion set to open a day before, on Nov. 15, at the Tacoma Art Museum. I haven't been to Tacoma in about 20 years, and the museum has moved to new quarters since then. Back in 2003, it moved to a $22-million Antoine Predock-designed building. Now it is opening a new wing and entrance to house a collection of Western art donated a few years back. The gift came from a German supermarket mogul, billionaire Erivan … [Read more...]

Zurbarán In The News!

St.Serapion

Since 2012, when TEFAF celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Maastricht art fair has been awarding grants toward the conservation of objects held by museums that have attended the fair in that year. The other day, TEFAF announced the 2104 grants: the €50,000 annual amount from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund will be split between two early paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran. One, St. Serapion (1628) [at right], is owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Ct.; the other, Saint Francis of Assisi in Meditation (c. 1630-1635) [below], is in … [Read more...]

Detroit: Someone There Is Listening

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Remember the political ruckus over the pay packages in the last years for Graham Beal, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Annmarie Erickson, his deputy? Local politicians threatened to repeal the millage tax, which is supporting operations at the DIA for the next ten years, because of it. Even though I thought that the pair probably deserved the raises and bonuses as disclosed, I agreed that the optics of them--at the particular time, with the Grand Bargain hanging in the balance--had to be fixed. And I recommended a way … [Read more...]

Two “Transformative” Gifts That Actually Are

Manet

Two lucky museums made big announcements this week--"transformative" gifts of art. And these do seem to fit that bill, no exaggeration. In Los Angeles, a reclusive billionaire named A. Jerrold Perenchio said he would bequest "the most significant works of his collection to LACMA’s planned new building for its permanent collection." The trove includes "at least" 47 art works, including some by Degas, Monet, Bonnard, Manet (at left), Picasso and Pissarro. They would go into the new buildings, designed by Peter Zumthor, planned by LACMA … [Read more...]

“National Gallery” — The Film

NatlGalleryFilm

Oddly, so soon after I wrote here about "Mr. Turner," the British film about J.W.M. Turner, I just learned about a British documentary called "National Gallery" about that august London institution. It, too, was shown at last spring's Cannes Film Festival and it's on view in New York City from today through Nov. 18. It's at the Film Forum, which describes it like this" London’s National Gallery...is itself portrayed as a brilliant work of art in this, Frederick Wiseman’s 39th documentary and counting. Wiseman listens raptly as a panoply of … [Read more...]

Don’t Miss This Exhibition! (Installation Pictures Included)

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In tomorrow's Wall Street Journal, I review an absolutely wonderful exhibition called Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It's a massive, mesmerizing show that I visited last week--but which I had seen once before, by accident, in Mexico City. I tell that story, very briefly, in my review, headlined A New Perspective on an Overlooked Art Form: A global journey ends in an exhibition that takes folk art seriously. My review begins--like the exhibit--with the three clay … [Read more...]

Burgeoning Florida Arts Corridor Gets Another Museum

RaymondJamesart

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area is getting another art museum, courtesy of Tom James, chairman of the brokerage firm Raymond James, son of its founder and chairman of the nearby Dali Museum. The other day, James, who is 72 and still active at the firm, said he would commit up to $75 million to build a museum that will house his collection--a number he calculated based on the new, $40 million Dali, which opened in 2011--plus $30 million to endow it. James reportedly owns about 2,500 works of art; he has been buying since he was a student at … [Read more...]

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