News

  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

    Klaus Biesenbach Revamps LA MoCA’s Annual Gala Following Controversy

    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, has announced the return of its annual spring gala. Last year’s fundraising event was canceled after artist Mark Grotjahn refused to accept the institution’s gala award, citing the lack of diversity among previous honorees—the last three recipients of the accolade were all straight, white men: Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, and John Baldessari.

    Taking place on May 18 at the Geffen Contemporary at MoCA in Little Tokyo, the event has been refashioned as a benefit. According to the museum, the institution’s director Klaus Biesenbach wanted to introduce a “

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  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing the new legislation on Earth Day, Monday, April 22.

    New York Museums Must Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions or Face Fines

    In an attempt to fight climate change, the New York City Council passed a landmark package of bills that will force thousands of large buildings across the five boroughs to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or face substantial fines. While hospitals, houses of worship, public housing, and rent-controlled residential buildings are exempt from the new law, museums are not.

    Among the city’s cultural institutions that must comply are the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the New Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, which is currently undergoing an expansion

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  • The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

    Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to Build New $96 Million Home

    The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) in Halifax, the province’s capital, is planning to build a new 142,000-square-foot facility on the city’s waterfront. The museum will be twice the size of its current home on Hollis Street, where the institution has been located since 1988.

    On Thursday, April 18, Nova Scotia’s premier, Stephen McNeil, and rural economic development minister, Bernadette Jordan, pledged at least $52 million to the project, which is estimated to cost $96 million or more. The federal government is expected to commit roughly $22 million to the museum, and the gallery plans to

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  • Kirsten Paisley in front of Colin McCahon’s Victory over Death 2, 1970. Photo: Rohan Thomson.

    Kirsten Paisley Named Director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

    Kirsten Paisley will serve as the next director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in New Zealand, beginning May 1. Gregory Burke, the former director and CEO of Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Canada, was originally tapped for the position, but he withdrew his application last month after an allegation of workplace harassment surfaced.

    According to the New Zealand Herald, the accuser, an unidentified former female coworker, claims the harassment took place at Remai Modern in 2013, when it was still operating as the Mendel Art Gallery. The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission is investigating the

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  • The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

    Museum Docent Gifts $8 Million to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

    The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia has revealed that the late Estelle Barenbaum Rubens, a longtime docent at the museum, donated nearly $8 million to the institution, making it one of the largest gifts ever given to the academy. “We knew the bequest was coming,” David R. Brigham, PAFA president and chief executive, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But we had no idea of the magnitude. It far exceeded our expectations.”

    Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rubens volunteered at PAFA for more than fifteen years. Her late husband, the attorney Raymond Rubens, was also an active

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  • Jayne Wrightsman.

    Jayne Wrightsman (1919–2019)

    New York philanthropist and longtime Metropolitan Museum of Art trustee Jayne Wrightsman, who amassed an incredible collection of paintings by Eugène Delacroix, Johannes Vermeer, El Greco, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jacques-Louis David, which she gifted to the Met over the years, died at her Manhattan home on Saturday at age ninety-nine, the New York Times reports. 

    She and her husband, the late oil tycoon Charles B. Wrightsman, also donated extensive collections of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century porcelain, furniture, chandeliers, clocks, and other pieces made

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  • Tenement Museum in New York.

    New York Tenement Museum Staff Votes to Unionize

    Front-facing staff members of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which focuses on the history of urban migration, labor, and immigration, voted seventy-two to three in favor of unionizing and joining the UAW (United Auto Workers) Local 2110 last week. Employees of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Historical Society, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the New Museum are also in the UAW.

    The vote comes after over a decade of failed unionization attempts by staffers in the museum’s education, retail, and visitor services departments, who cite poor working conditions, including low wages,

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  • Gabriela Rangel. Photo: Guyot/Mendoza.

    Gabriela Rangel Appointed Artistic Director of MALBA

    The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) has named Venezuelan curator Gabriela Rangel as its new artistic director. Rangel comes to the institution from New York, where she most recently served as director of visual arts and chief curator at the Americas Society. A specialist in Latin American Art, Rangel will be responsible for overseeing the institution’s exhibitions program, collection, publications, and educational initiatives, as well as for spearheading collaborations with other local and international institutions.

    “After an exhaustive search over nearly a year, we have

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  • Josine Ianco-Starrels. Photo: Courtesy Los Angeles Cultural Affairs.

    Josine Ianco-Starrels (1926–2019)

    The Romanian-born curator Josine Ianco-Starrels, who became an influential figure in the Los Angeles art scene and a champion of underrepresented artists beginning in the 1960s, died at her home in Rogue River, Oregon, on April 8, the Los Angeles Times reports. Her daughter, Elissa Kline, said she passed away of natural causes.

    “Ianco-Starrels is a progressive, energetic curator with an international perspective and a great depth of knowledge of contemporary California art,” Long Beach Museum of Art director Stephen Garrett said in 1986.

    The daughter of the Israeli Romanian artist and architect

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  • Jiří Fajt.

    Czech Culture Minister Dismisses Two Prominent Museum Directors, Sparking Protests

    Last week, Czech culture minister Antonin Staněk dismissed Jiří Fajt, who had served as director of the National Gallery, Prague, for five years, and Michal Soukup, who had been head of the Olomouc Museum of Art, Monopol reports.

    The culture minister said in a public statement that the dismissals were based on the results of “currently completed and ongoing public administration controls of both institutions.” He continued that he had lost faith in the directors’ abilities to lead the art institutions in a way that was “economically [responsible].”

    Staněk is also filing a criminal complaint against

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  • Valerie V. Gay.

    Barnes Foundation Names Valerie V. Gay Deputy Director for Audience Engagement, Chief Experience Officer

    The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia has appointed Valerie V. Gay as its new deputy director for audience engagement and chief experience officer. Gay most recently served as executive director of Philadelphia’s Art Sanctuary and has nearly twenty years of experience in nonprofit administration. She will be responsible for expanding the organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and will take up the post in April.

    “Art Sanctuary has been a community partner of the Barnes for six years, and over that time, I’ve admired its work in public, community, and family programs,” Gay said in a

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  • Rick Kinsel. Photo: Vilcek Foundation.

    Rick Kinsel Joins NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts’ Board of Trustees

    The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in Manhattan announced today that it has welcomed Rick Kinsel to its board of trustees. Kinsel currently serves as the president of the Vilcek Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of immigrant contributions to the United States and to fostering appreciation of the arts and sciences. Kinsel has been with the foundation since its inception in 2000.

    Prior to joining the foundation, Kinsel was director of cultural affairs for Coty Inc. in New York, where he supervised all arts and educational programs from 1997 to 2003. He also

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