Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture

Judith H. Dobrzynski's Real Clear Arts

Answer to the Ever-Present False Dichotomy About Museums

It’s very trendy these days to insist that museums should be visitor-centered, not art-centered. Most recently, I was called on the carpet yet again for suggesting that art comes first, but not just that; in fact, someone I do not know accused me a restarting the culture wars when I wrote here about the Portland Art Museum’s Parklandia. The blog post was called “The Value of Museum Selfies.”

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What’s New About the New Greek Galleries at MFA?

Do people learn more at art museums when chronology governs a display or when a thematic narrative rules? It’s a perennial question, and traditionally many museums with extensive collections answer it with the former because, with a broad, deep array of art in a particular category, they can. Less well-endowed collections have often gone the thematic route simply because they can’t do a civilization or a period justice with their skimpy (or gap-filled) holdings.

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Crystal Bridges: The Anti-Whitney-Biennial

Saturday is the day. That’s when the art world, which has been wondering what Don Bacigalupi, president of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and assistant curator Chad Alligood have been seeing for the better part of 2013 and much of 2014 on their search for underappreciated artists, will find out. That’s when the museum unveils State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now – their selections. It is definitely an unconventional ride through art in America.

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Is It Time To Break Up Overcrowded Museums?

Hrag Vartanian, whom you may know as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic, had a very interesting opinion piece published on Al Jazeera America the other day. The headline was Break up the major museums to save them, with a deck saying “August institutions should build more outposts rather than cloister themselves in big cities.”

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The Importance Of Having A Watchdog

The Asheville Art Museum seems to have a watchdog on its tail, probably in a good way — in fact, in a way such that it makes me wonder if, say, the Corcoran Gallery of Art might have survived as it was had it had someone similarly watching its every move.

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Is This A “New” Piero della Franscesca?

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Ethics 101 For Dealers: Deaccessioning

Are dealers are “accessories” to an ethical violation if they agree to sell works of art for museums, like the Delaware Art Museum (pictured below), that are selling to raise money for capital or operational purposes? Accessories to criminal acts may, after all, be guilty of an infraction.

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Mass MoCA Dreams Big: And Wakes Up Almost Middle-Aged

With the stroke of Gov. Deval Patrick’s pen a few weeks ago, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art got the go-ahead to realize the nearly 30-year-old dream of transforming a 19th century, 26-building, 16-acre factory complex into a destination arts center that would also help revive the economy of North Adams, Mass.

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Name The Best Four Hudson River School Paintings — To Go On Stamps

On Monday, the Nelson-Atkins Museum announced that its wonderful Grand Canyon painting by Thomas Moran, from 1912, would grace a Forever stamp as part of an homage to the Hudson River School of artists — it’s one of four tributes.

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About That Stolen Guercino

This is just plain bad: Last week, a painting titled Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory Thaumaturgus (1639) was stolen from a church in Modena, Italy. Not only was the church alarm system in active, but also the Baroque masterpiece wasn’t insured.

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