AJ your way: headlines | front page | classic | previous days | rss
December 11, 2013
Reconsidering Norman Rockwell (Again)
Like the work of other artists once dismissed as producers of nostalgic Americana--"big paydays for small-town mush," in the caustic phrase of Benjamin DeMott, who also mentioned Frank Capra and Thornton Wilder--Rockwell's paintings have become more interesting over time.
New York Review of Books 12/19/13
The New Kimbell Museum - First, Do No Harm
December 10, 2013
"Architecturally, the new Kimbell addition will soon fade into the middle rank of Piano's oeuvre, neither at the top (the Nasher and Menil) nor the bottom (the Broad Contemporary Art Museum of 2003-2008 in Los Angeles and the Morgan Library & Museum of 2000-2006 in New York.) His Fort Worth pavilion is the twenty-first museum building Piano has completed, with another four in the works, and he cannot be expected to produce a hit every time."
New York Review of Books 12/19/13
The Practical Absurdity Of "Selling" Detroit's DIA Art
"Michiganders might remember that in the 1920s and '30s, the cash-hungry Soviet government sold off Russia's art treasures, dispersing them to other countries. Today, that episode is viewed as a national tragedy."
The Wall Street Journal 12/10/13
How Museums Name Their Shows
"Like naming a baby, getting the title right can do much to determine how others perceive and remember an exhibition. And how many people will attend."
The Roots Of Urban Planning In The Gardens At Versailles
December 9, 2013
An new exhibition at Louis XIV's château posits that His Majesty's landscape architect, André Le Nôtre, first put into practice ideas about layout that would influence urban planners for the next several centuries.
NPR 12.09.13 (includes audio)
How Art Basel Transformed Miami's Art Scene
December 8, 2013
"Art Basel may not have instantly made Miami into a global art hub, as some predicted when it first landed on Florida's shores in 2002, but the fair has been steadily driving year-round museum attendance and arts patronage."
The Art Newspaper 12/08/13
It's Wrong And Flat-Out Stupid To Loot The DIA
December 6, 2013
"The whole point of a bankruptcy is to solve deep and structural problems in the economic organization of a major city - not to strip-mine everything from the Bellinis at the museum to the baboons at the Detroit Zoo for however much one-time cash you can squeeze out of them."
The Guardian (UK) 12/08/13
Gallery Manager Pleads Guilty To Possessing Looted Antiquities
For nearly two decades, Aaron Freedman helped run the Manhattan gallery of Indian art and antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor, who Federal agents say "is by far the biggest smuggler, in terms of numbers of antiquities stolen and their market value, that we have seen."
The New York Times 12.04.13
Swiss Government Opens Inquiry Into Art Stash Given To UNICEF
December 5, 2013
"The authorities here are investigating the transfer to UNICEF in Germany of one of Europe's largest and finest private art collections, a vast trove amassed by Dr. Gustav Rau, an eccentric collector and philanthropist who died in 2002."
The New York Times 12.05.13
Director For The 2015 Venice Biennale Named
In a statement, the biennial's president, Paolo Baratta, referred to Okwui Enwezor's knowledge of the "complex phenomenon of globalisation". The curator of Documenta 11 in Kassel, Enwezor has organised biennials from Seville to South Korea and the major travelling survey of post-war African art "The Short Century" (2001-02).
Is It Or Isn't It A Leonardo?
"The drawing of Isabella in the Louvre, on which the painting is clearly based, was done some time between late 1499 and March of 1500, when Leonardo was a guest at her court in Mantua. According to the newspaper, carbon dating of the painting conducted at the University of Arizona confirms that it was executed sometime between 1460 and 1650, placing it in a corresponding timeframe."
Baltimore Museum: Judge - That Renoir Is Ours!
"In effect, the motion asks federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema to determine that the 1879 oil painting "Paysage Bords de Seine" belongs to the Baltimore museum and not to the 51-year-old Virginia woman who says she bought it at a flea market in 2009 for $7 as part of a box of odds and ends."
Baltimore Sun 12/04/13
Detroit Leaders Scramble To Save Art Before Politicians Plunder It
"Some of the city's most powerful leaders are working furiously to fashion a grand bargain in which nonprofit foundations would put up $500 million to spin off the Detroit Institute of Arts from the city, and that money would be used to reduce pension cuts and help rebuild city services."
Detroit Free Press 12/05/13
Egyptian Museum's Antiquities And Staff Alike Suffer From Country's Instability
December 4, 2013
"The century-old home of Egypt's mummies and King Tutankhamun's treasures is trying to make the best out of the worst times of political turmoil. But the Egyptian Museum is taking a hammering on multiple levels, from riots on its doorstep to funding so meager it can't keep up paper clip supplies for its staff."
Yahoo! (AP) 12/03/13
Price For Norman Rockwell Smashes Record
By far, the star of the bunch was the 1951 masterpiece Saying Grace, which sold for $46 million -- a record for Rockwell's art... The AP says the artist's previous record of $15 million had been set by "Breaking Home Ties" at a 2006 Sotheby's auction.
How Do We Make Sure Detroit's Art Sale Doesn't Happen Again
"The real goal, in a larger perspective, is how to de-monetize art. It's too late for Detroit to think about such things--any attempt to keep its art out of the market would be vigorously protested by the city's creditors--but the Detroit crisis has people thinking about how to avert such things in the future."
Washington Post 12/04/13
A Global Conversation - Miami's New Museum Opens
"The diversity of display styles suits a young institution that lacks deep holdings of major figures. Instead the museum layout convenes a conversation among local artists and global ones. That's just perfect for Miami, the restless nexus of the Americas and Europe."
Value Set For Detroit's DIA Art Inflames Debate
"A figure less than $2 billion is likely to inflame the passions of bondholders, unions and other creditors who see DIA masterpieces as a prime source for recovering the billions they are owed by the city. It also increases the chances that a court battle over the fate of the DIA will become even more contentious as Kevyn Orr prepares his plan of adjustment to restructure city finances."
Detroit Free Press 12/04/13
Federal Judge Gives First Hint Of Detroit Art Collection's Status In City's Bankruptcy
"'A one-time infusion of cash by selling an asset,' he [wrote], would have only delayed the city's 'inevitable financial failure' unless it could have also come up with a sustainable way to enhance income and reduce expenses. Judge Rhodes added that in considering selling assets, a city 'must take extreme care that the asset is truly unnecessary in carrying out its mission'."
The New York Times 12/04/13
Barnes Foundation Director Stepping Down
December 3, 2013
"Derek Gillman, the British-born executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation who guided it through the latter stages of a controversial move from its longtime home in suburban Merion to a grand new gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, announced his resignation Tuesday."
The Philadelphia Inquirer 12/04/13
How Smartphones Are Ruining The Museum Experience
"Flash photography has long been banned owing to the damage its blasts of high-intensity light can inflict on paintings. Smartphones and tablets pose a less visible but potentially graver threat. They disconnect the visitor from the art on display and imperil the museum in other, very real, ways."
New Criterion 12/13