Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture

Judith H. Dobrzynski's Real Clear Arts

Big Questions Re: Museum of African Art’s New Dream

There was alarming news in the recent article in The New York Times about the Museum for African Art here in NYC, and it wasn’t ab0ut the shrinking of the building or even the gallery space. It was about the shrinking of the board — to six people! That is way too small for a non-profit, where aside from choosing the leader/director, raising money — get or give — is one of its most important functions.

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If “Creative Director” Title Fits A Museum, Why Not?

News the other day that the National Academy had elected 13 new Academicians reminded me that I meant to comment on the new title there, announced in the recent shakeup by Carmine Branagan, the director.

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And Here’s Another New Contemporary Art Museum

On a completely different continent and in a completely different scale from the news about Los Angeles, there is word of another contemporary art museum — African contemporary art. This proposed museum, which sounds quite wonderful if it happens, is in Capetown. Continue Reading

Timken Mess, Part 3: Hugh Davies Adds Perspective

The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, as you’ll recall, is a governance mess: trustees have caused Executive Director John Wilson, a professional, to resign and have replaced him with a well-known art restorer who will run the museum part time from New York City. See my posts here and here. That’s no way to run a museum.

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Let’s All Help Save Syria’s Treasures: A Plan

Everyone has been very worried about the state of cultural heritage properties in Syria during this civil war. There have been irregular reports but they all suggest that Old Aleppo, the Krak des Chevaliers, many medieval Christian cemeteries and dozens of archaeological sites and museums have been damaged — or, as a new release from an organization trying to do something put it, “subjected to extensive raiding and looting.”

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“Anonymous” Women, Once Again

It’s that time of year — actually, it’s a little past that time of year — when the Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation makes public the ten female artists who will receive $25,000 no strings attached, just to support them. This is the 19th set of winners  – and I was there at the creation, sort of. So I sometimes like to publicize the winners (which were announced on July 2).

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DIA Reaches Almost 80% of “Grand Bargain” Goal

That was the news out of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ press conference this morning: It has another $26.8 million in commitments from corporations pledged toward the $100 million it agreed to raise to buy its independence in the Detroit bankruptcy.

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China: Museum-Building Slows Down

China is still building museums like a maniacal child erecting skyscrapers with Legos — but the rate has now slowed from one a day last year to one every three days, according to Cathy Giangrande, the co-author (with Miriam Clifford and Antony White) of  the new Chinese Museums Association Guide, which updates their 2009 book China: Museums.

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The Most Common Expansion Mistake Hits The Perez

Time and again, over the years, there is one common mistake made by many museums that expand — which often gets them into trouble and which is avoidable, mostly. Now it has hit the Pérez Art Museum Miami — and we not surprised.

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Timken Intrigue, Part 2: The Power Play

If a dispute isn’t about money, it’s usually about power. And that is what is behind the problems at the Timken Museum of Art (below). Not programs, not old-school art versus contemporary art, not money.

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