an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise

DIA Reaches Almost 80% of “Grand Bargain” Goal


That was the news out of the Detroit Institute of Arts' press conference this morning: It has another $26.8 million in commitments from corporations pledged toward the $100 million it agreed to raise to buy its independence in the Detroit bankruptcy. The new money in today's announcement came from: $10 million from Roger S. Penske and Penske Corporation, $5 million from DTE Energy, $5 million from Quicken Loans and the Rock Ventures Family of Companies, $2.5 million from BCBSM, $1 million from Meijer, $1 million from Comerica … [Read more...]

American Art Bonanza Left By Richard Mellon Scaife


Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, scion of two wealthy families, died on July 4, leaving a large art collection -- apparently -- to two small Pennsylvania Museums. Scaife's attorney called the art collection "expansive." And according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- which Scaife owned: The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg and Brandywine Conservancy near Philadelphia will split Scaife's art collection, according to the will. The will allows the organizations to decide how to divide the collection and sets up a rotating … [Read more...]

China: Museum-Building Slows Down


China is still building museums like a maniacal child erecting skyscrapers with Legos -- but the rate has now slowed from one a day last year to one every three days, according to Cathy Giangrande, the co-author (with Miriam Clifford and Antony White) of  the new Chinese Museums Association Guide, which updates their 2009 book China: Museums. The Sinosphere blog of The New York Times just did a Q&A with Giangrande. In it, she reveals some noteworthy thoughts -- or updates on what we know. To wit: "In terms of content, one of the … [Read more...]

The Most Common Expansion Mistake Hits The Perez


Time and again, over the years, there is one common mistake made by many museums that expand -- which often gets them into trouble and which is avoidable, mostly. Now it has hit the Pérez Art Museum Miami -- and we not surprised. According to the Miami Herald (among other places),  The Pérez Art Museum Miami wants a $2.5 million boost in government support [from the hotel tax], with taxpayers set to cover a third of the museum’s budget next year.  Housed in a new $130 million waterfront headquarters built largely with government money, … [Read more...]

Timken Intrigue, Part 2: The Power Play


If a dispute isn't about money, it's usually about power. And that is what appears to be behind the problems at the Timken Museum of Art (below). Not programs, not old-school art versus contemporary art, not money. When we last wrote about the Timken, we weren't quite sure whether director John Wilson quit or was pushed out or why. It's not quite true that the board disagreed with Wilson's strategy, as several people including me surmised. Wilson has done a fine job. Attendance when he took over in 2008 was about 143,000. Last year, it was … [Read more...]

Money For Contemporary Art, Boston: Not So Scarce?


Not too long ago, the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston was a nomad, unable to raise money for a proper home, "striving to be marginal," as the director Jill Medvedow used to say. Then, it raised $75 million, moved into a lovely new home on the waterfront, and hit its stride. And now, the ICA has announced that since 2010, it has completed another fundraising campaign: it gathered $50 million for operations and to pad its endowment, which stands at $25 million, up from $9.6 million when the campaign started. That's better, but still … [Read more...]

Intrique: Director of Timken Museum Is Out


This Wednesday, John Wilson, Executive Director of the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, is set to give a gallery talk titled "Brave New World: from Icons to the Future." As I write this, that's what the museum website says. It may be a broken link by the time you read this post, though, because Wilson (pictured at right) quit or was pushed out last week, just before the holiday. His name has been removed from the Board/Staff page of the site, though his replacement's name isn't yet there. That would be, according to various reports, David … [Read more...]

Small Show At The Met Makes Me Wish… UPDATED


The thunderstorms that hit the New York area last Wednesday and Thursday evening destroyed my plans for a week away, so I ended up spending the Fourth of July in town instead of about 1,500 miles away in Texas. I decided to go to the Metropolitan Museum around mid-day on the Fourth, and it was packed then, even before it started to rain, which probably brought more visitors. First I went to Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century, a beautifully installed exhibit of sculpture, and then I decided to … [Read more...]

Fourth of July Post


The Morgan Library & Museum has put on display a rare first edition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” marking the 200th anniversary in 2014 of the origination of the famous anthem. And the Morgan is open today, until 5 p.m., in case you're looking for something to do in the rain. Also, it has its regular hours this weekend. Since it's a holiday, I'll quote completely from the Morgan's press release: Francis Scott Key’s poem, inspired by the sight of the flag defiantly flying over Fort McHenry after the British attack in September 1814, was … [Read more...]

Save The Corcoran Petition Filed, But…


Today, the Save the Corcoran Coalition filed its complaint and petition in D.C. Superior Court, which must rule on the proposed deal between the Corcoran, the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University. STC  is asking to intervene in the Corcoran's cy près proceedings. The petition asks the court to: ·      remove members of the current  Board of Trustees, ·      ensure that the entire Corcoran collection remain together, ·      require that the Board submit to a full financial accounting, and ·      deny cy près … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog