Fractional Gifts At Risk Under New Law "A recent change in federal tax law that was intended to curb abuses by the wealthy has museum officials grumbling that priceless art gifts could dry up... The old law allowed a collector to donate a percentage of an art object, take a tax write-off for the gift, and yet retain physical possession of the piece, often for many years. The new law caps the value of the donation, the time span of the gift and how the museum and private owner will share it. Museums say the original law enriched public art collections, cemented relationships with donors and cost taxpayers little compared with its benefits."
Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul) 11/02/06 Posted: 11/02/2006 6:43 am
Pollock Sale May Be A New Record Hollywood mogul David Geffen has sold a Jackson Pollock painting for a reported $140 million. The price, if accurate, is the highest ever paid for a painting, outstripping last year's $135 million acquisition of Gustav Klimt's "Adele Bloch-Bauer I."
The New York Times 11/02/06 Posted: 11/02/2006 5:56 am
Fall Auctions Set To Make Waves "Just when it seemed as if art auctions could not get bigger or prices go higher, along come the catalogs for this fall’s important sales of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art. [The] evening sales have the highest estimates in auction history; they also carry the biggest risk. The auction houses have become so competitive for business that this season they have promised sellers larger and larger guarantees, undisclosed minimum sums that are paid regardless of a sale’s outcome."
The New York Times 11/02/06 Posted: 11/02/2006 5:54 am
Whither The Whitney? Once again, New York's Whitney Museum is changing course, considering a complete abandonment of the Renzo Piano addition to its Manhattan home in favor of a new downtown outpost. "The Whitney’s latest about-face points to an underlying malady. Architects are only as good as their clients. They can give conceptual form to an institution’s identity, but they can’t invent it. The Whitney’s endless false starts are a symptom of self-doubt and internal confusion."
The New York Times 11/02/06 Posted: 11/02/2006 5:51 am
- The Whitney's Great Opportunity "The Whitney could at this moment electrify everyone by changing the game entirely. It should take a page from London's enormous, and enormously fantastic-for-art, Tate Modern. Rather than continuing its uphill battle of trying to build an uptown addition that will be outdated the day it opens, the Whitney should rethink its paradigm and reinvent itself."
Village Voice 10/27/06 Posted: 11/02/2006 12:17 am
Looting Iraq's Past Iraq's archaeological treasures are being looted. "But does this matter, in a country where a baker beside his oven, or a barber by his chair, can be gunned down as valid targets for sectarian hatred?"
The Guardian (UK) 11/01/06 Posted: 11/01/2006 7:42 pm
Looting Italy's Churches Thieves have been pillaging art from Italy's churches. "The thieves have turned to plundering churches for religious artefacts since a clampdown on the pillaging of ancient sites. Accords reached with many international museums have seen the return to Italy of illegally exported antiquities and thieves are looking elsewhere to find items to sell to collectors."
The Guardian (UK) 11/01/06 Posted: 11/01/2006 4:55 pm
Ex-Curator Shocks Hearing A former curator at Frederickton's Beaverbrook Gallery surprised a court hearing when he alleged that gallery records had been tampered with. The hearing is to determine ownership of the gallery's collection. "Among the paintings in dispute are J.M.W. Turner's Fountain of Indolence, estimated to be worth as much as $25 million, and Hotel Bedroom by Lucien Freud, which could be worth as much as $8 million."
CBC 11/01/06 Posted: 11/01/2006 4:32 pm
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How Not To Attract A Music Director The West Australian Symphony Orchestra had egg on its face last week after publishing brochures touting Edo de Waart as its next music director, only to have de Waart pull out of the negotiations, which had not been finalized. Now, the WASO's board chair has publicly apologized to de Waart for comments made by the orchestra's president at the time, in which it was implied that de Waart's change of heart had to do with not wanting to pay Australian taxes. The West Australian 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 5:37 am
What's Next In K-W? Now that the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has managed to raise enough money to stay afloat in the short term, the organization is looking to its long-term future. One possible model for a turnaround is the Calgary Symphony, which had to seek court protection from its creditors, only to reemerge with three straight years of balanced budgets. But there is no magic formula for orchestras on the brink, and little margin for error along the way. The Record (Kitchener, ON) 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 5:29 am
Music Hall Overhaul Begins With Parking The Cincinnati Symphony is one step closer to a much-needed renovation of its home base, Music Hall, with the unveiling of plans to construct a new parking garage and public plaza attached to the main building. While such amenities might seem to be putting the cart before the horse, the sad truth is that Music Hall is located in a crime-ridden neighborhood, and the hope is that the attached garage, which will allow concertgoers to go from their cars to their seats without braving the mean Cincy streets, will boost attendance at CSO concerts. Cincinnati Enquirer 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 5:20 am
Florida Orchestra Back In The Red Hurricane-related setbacks and a lack of expected government funding combined to put the Tampa Bay-based Florida Orchestra $676,615 in the red for fiscal 2006. It's the orchestra's third deficit in the last five fiscal years. St. Petersburg Times (FL) 11/01/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 5:13 am
What's Early About "Early" Music? The definitions of early music are fungible. But why? "So when does early music really end? Perhaps when new music begins. When is that? Ives and Schoenberg have been dead for more than half a century, and their music still frequently gets called new music." NewMusicBox 11/01/06
Posted: 11/01/2006 7:02 pm
The Music Biz - The New Realities "New relationships between music companies, advertisers and file-sharing networks are signalling a major change in the corporate attitude toward illegal downloads. Instead of trying in vain to stop a trend that has spread like wildfire, record giants have finally figured out that when it comes to music piracy, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Ottawa Citizen 11/01/06
Posted: 11/01/2006 6:58 pm
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Arts Losing 18-to-34 Crowd "A new report by the National Endowment for the Arts on arts attendance and how it relates to volunteerism shows Americans 18 to 34 increasingly tuned out from the arts and the broader community." Participation in the arts was down across the board, whether the subject was music, dance, opera, or even reading. On the plus side, those who did engage with the arts were 50% more likely to spend time volunteering. Los Angeles Times 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 6:39 am
Harper Cuts Run Afoul Of Arts Leaders Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been making good on his campaign pledge to slash government spending, and in the process, he's been eliminating funding from cultural diplomacy projects. That's got famed director David Cronenberg, among others, up in arms. "There is always this idea that the arts are superficial, kind of frivolous. The notion that they are fat to be trimmed from the body politic makes me nuts." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 6:34 am
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Novelist William Styron, 81 "William Styron, the novelist from the American South whose explorations of difficult historical and moral questions earned him a place among the leading literary figures of the post-World War II generation, died yesterday on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where he had a home. He was 81... Critics and readers alike ranked him among the best of the generation that succeeded Hemingway and Faulkner." The New York Times 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 5:58 am
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Tharp Does Dylan - The "Worst Show I've Ever Seen" If "an unknown artist had stumbled so badly creating a new musical, I wouldn’t in fairness review it at all. But there’s an arrogance at work here, a cynicism that gives offense." New York Observer 11/01/06
Posted: 11/01/2006 9:29 pm
UK Theatre - Failure To Offend British theatre is getting increasingly squeamish about offending. "A theatre culture that fears to give offence is a theatre culture that is bland and moribund, and pasting warnings all over a theatre suggest that managements fear that audiences may not be grown up enough to distinguish between real life and representation, between someone actually committing infanticide and an actor acting it." The Guardian (UK) 11/01/06
Posted: 11/01/2006 7:54 pm
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A Quiet Opening In Lake Wobegon Country Radio megastar Garrison Keillor's new independent bookstore in St. Paul quietly opened its doors this week, and Keillor has laid out some lofty goals for it to live up to. "In a move to distinguish his shop from the national behemoths, he and his staff are placing special focus on local and regional authors and poetry endorsed by Keillor... Works by St. Paul native son F. Scott Fitzgerald fill an entire shelf." Still, indies have had a rough run in St. Paul recently, and Keillor's star power may be all that stands between the new store and a similar fate. St. Paul Pioneer Press 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 6:48 am
Because We All Know What Happens When Americans Get Offended "A French-language novel by Calgary-born Nancy Huston that was awarded France's prestigious Prix Femina this week was expected to be published in English first -- but the novelist's Canadian publisher and New York agent held off doing that this year because they wanted Huston to change portions of her text to avoid offending U.S. readers." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 6:33 am
Would You Like A Side Of Fiction With That? In an age when books are more accessible than ever, but independent booksellers are an endangered species, publishers are trying ever more innovative techniques to get their product in the hands of readers. The latest trend is books as a lifestyle accessory, sold alongside clothing, coffee, even lunch meat. "What began as a trickle of cookbooks in kitchen shops and do-it-yourself titles in hardware stores has become, in recent months, the fastest growing component in many major publishers’ retail strategies." The New York Times 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 6:00 am
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Blockbuster To Offer Online Customers Store Deal Blockbuster Video is sweetening the deal for its mail-order customers. "Customers can receive free in-store movie rentals if they return to stores those DVDs that are rented online. Rival online DVD rental company Netflix Inc. operates only through the mail." Yahoo! (Reuters) 11/01/06
Posted: 11/01/2006 5:30 pm
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Tinkering With A Classic "The Sleeping Beauty is the jewel in the classical crown of the National Ballet of Canada. It has been 34 years, and hundreds of performances, since Rudolf Nureyev first crafted this sumptuous production for the company." Now, the production is getting a complete overhaul, with the staging at the company's new Toronto home "reawakened, brushed up and refreshed to the tune of $700,000 — nearly twice the amount originally budgeted to stage it." Toronto Star 11/02/06
Posted: 11/02/2006 6:54 am
A Choreographer Scores When choreographer Michael Clark "recently asked his friends in the art world to donate pieces to a fundraising auction for his troupe, the resulting sale brought it something close to £1 million." The Telegraph (UK) 11/01/06
Posted: 11/01/2006 7:36 pm
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