Imagine being a French farmer, plowing your field near a village named Berthouville in rural Normandy; it’s 1830. And you hit something, stop and discover the first items in a trove that grew to 90 silver and gilt-silver statuettes and vessels dating to the 3rd century and before.
Judith H. Dobrzynski's Real Clear Arts
Whether or not they ever become museum directors, the twelve curators who were named this week as the eighth class of fellows at the Center for Curatorial Leadership* are signalling their ambition. It’s a well-rounded group, coming from ten American museums plus two overseas museums–in Denmark and the Netherlands.
Don Bacigalupi has been president of Crystal Bridges only since February, 2013, but now he is leaving to become the Founding President of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which George Lucas intend to erect in Chicago. It is not without controversy. The recently released design concept, put forward by MAD Architects, has been criticized. People don’t approve of its “space-mountain-like design.”
Since 2012, when TEFAF celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Maastricht art fair has been awarding grants toward the conservation of objects held by museums that have attended the fair in that year. The other day, TEFAF announced the 2104 grants: the €50,000 annual amount from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund will be split between two early paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran.
Before everyone gets distracted by the opening of the new Harvard Art Museums later this week, let’s learn a little about the expansion set to open a day before, on Nov. 15, at the Tacoma Art Museum. I haven’t been to Tacoma in about 20 years, and the museum has moved to new quarters since then. Back in 2003, it moved to a $22-million Antoine Predock-designed building. Now it is opening a new wing and entrance to house a collection of Western art donated a few years back.
Last week, just as the bellwether fall sales of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art in New York were about to begin, Christie’s announced that it was going deeper into dealer territory. Not with that headline, of course. The press release was titled CHRISTIE’S OPENS NEW ART SPACE IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER, and it said that architect Annabelle Selldorf, whose work can be seen in many NYC commercial galleries as well the renovated Clark Art Institute, had designed the new galleries. There are four of them, plus five private viewing rooms, occupying a total of 11,000 square feet.
Financial salvation for the Detroit Institute of Arts, and perhaps even the Grand Bargain in Detroit, which was part of the emergence from bankruptcy deal approved by the court on Friday, was almost jeopardized a few weeks ago: that’s when a political ruckus emerged over the pay packages in the last years for Graham Beal, the DIA’s director, and Annmarie Erickson, his deputy.
Oddly, so soon after I wrote here about “Mr. Turner,” the British film about J.W.M. Turner, I just learned about a British documentary called “National Gallery” about that august London institution. It, too, was shown at last spring’s Cannes Film Festival and it’s on view in New York City through Nov. 18. It’s at the Film Forum, which describes it like this: Continue Reading
In tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, I review an absolutely wonderful exhibition called Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It’s a massive, mesmerizing show that I visited last week–but which I had seen once before, by accident, in Mexico City. I tell that story, very briefly, in my review, headlined A New Perspective on an Overlooked Art Form: A global journey ends in an exhibition that takes folk art seriously.