—Jerry Saltz in New York magazine urges the Guggenheim’s trustees to “take back the rotunda and get rid of [Tom] Krens.” He appends a list of four women (Donna De Salvo, Ann Philbin, Kathy Halbreich and Thelma Golden) whom he thinks should be considered to succeed Lisa Dennison, the recently appointed Sotheby’s rainmaker. Saltz asserts that the new director must “defang Krens,” stripping him of virtually all power. Good luck with that. Dennison was merely director of the New York Guggenheim, not lord of the whole franchise. And Jerry, when you were describing all the negatives of the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, how did you miss the question of human rights abuses of construction workers?
—In an increasingly familiar pattern, Yale University gives up its resistance to returning Peruvian artifacts and makes an agreement involving cultural collaboration, hailing this as “a new model for resolving competing interests in cultural property.” This might have been a “new model” when the Metropolitan Museum struck its deal with Italy, but it’s getting a little old.
—When is an auction not an auction? When Sotheby’s cancels the much hyped Rostropovich sale and opts to sell the whole consignment privately instead (to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, according to an Interfax report cited by Bloomberg).
Sotheby’s announced today:
The new owner intends to bring the collection to Russia.The collection was acquired for an undisclosed sum that was substantially higher than the highest [$40 million] presale expectations.
Isn’t this breaking faith with the auction house’s paddle-raising clientele? Why tak pains to prepare to purchase at auction, if someone else can buy the property out from under you?
—Bloomberg’s Linda Yablonsky joins the “Who will succeed Philippe?” guessing game. But, in passing, she describes a scenario that strikes me as quite plausible:
A few days ago, Kathy Halbreich, 59, who will leave her position as director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis on Nov. 1, sparked a buzz when she started making regular appearances at MoMA, where, I hear, she may be set for a new post, deputy director.
I told you I sensed good chemistry between her and Glenn Lowry! Can she direct the Guggenheim and work for MoMA at the same time?