A Mark Rothko painting was defaced at the Tate Modern today. Andrew Johnson of The Independent and Hyperallergic report that a man walked up to the work, Black on Maroon, 1958, with a marker pen and tagged it. The painting was gifted to the museum in 1965 by Rothko. The painting was originally part of a series commissioned for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. Johnson notes that the series was never exhibited at the restaurant, and upon completion, Rothko decided that “he didn't want his paintings being used as a backdrop for privileged diners.” Police are currently investigating the incident.
Elsie McCabe Thompson has announced her resignation as president of the Museum for African Art in Manhattan. Patricia Cohen of the New York Times reports that her decision comes after more than “three years of financial troubles that have repeatedly delayed the museum’s opening of a new site.” The museum has thus far raised $93 million and needs an additional $10 million to finish construction of the building, designed by Robert A. M. Stern. The museum noted in a statement that it is “in discussions with several funders to ensure that the project is completed successfully.” Said Thompson: “We have poured our hearts and souls into the museum in order to create an institution of global acclaim. While this is a difficult decision, I leave knowing that much has been accomplished and the museum is in its final stages of development.” Thompson has spent the past fifteen years at the museum and plans to remain involved as a trustee on its board.
Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) announced today that Peggy Loar will leave her position as director of the National Museum of Qatar (NMQ), but will remain involved with the museum and QMA in an advisory capacity. Loar, who joined QMA in 2008 as a consultant, became NMQ director in 2009. She said in a statement, “The decision to leave the National Museum of Qatar was extremely difficult but I’ve reached a stage in my life when I want to be back with my family in the US. Working with QMA on the development of the Museum has so enlightened me about the Qatari national spirit. I was given the incredible opportunity to partner with Qataris to present their history, heritage, and cultural identity. I will always treasure my engagement and will be the Museum’s ambassador.”
Prior to her role at NMQ, Loar was the founding director of The Wolfsonian Museum and Research Center in Miami and Genoa, Italy; and of COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts in Napa, California; the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES); the program director for the Institute of Museum Services in Washington D.C.; and curator of education and assistant director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She also served as president of the US International Committee of Museums.
Paola Antonelli, the Museum of Modern Art’s senior curator of architecture and design, has been named director of research and development, MoMA announced today. Antonelli’s new position is designed to provide the museum with information and tools to evaluate new initiatives and identify new directions and unexplored opportunities, particularly in the digital realm. Director Glenn D. Lowry said, “As the museum continues to augment and enhance its digital strategy across the organization, its research and development activities will foster an environment that encourages critical analysis and new ideas about the way culture, and museums in particular, live, operate, and are experienced online and in person.”
Antonelli added, “Museums and schools can be considered research and development departments of society, as they pursue a slower, more reliable, productive, and constructive progress that incorporates technological and industrial innovation, but filters them through a humanistic sieve. The Museum of Modern Art can count on unique resources––its mission, its programming, its collection, its staff, as well as its privileged dialogue with artists and with its resourceful and responsive audience––to produce new experiences and discussions that will have far reaching consequences in shaping culture, and thus will have a positive influence on society.”
David Norman and Anthony Grant have been promoted to vice chairmen of the Americas at Sotheby’s, reports GalleristNY. Longtime New York auctioneer Tobias Meyer also holds this title. David Norman has thirty years of experience at Sotheby’s in the field of Impressionist and modern art. Norman will continue in his role as cochairman of Sotheby’s global Impressionist and modern team. Anthony Grant also has more than three decades of experience, having worked in the contemporary art market at auction and in the private gallery realm both in New York and California. In his new role he will continue to build postwar and contemporary sales internationally.
Sarah McCrory has been named the director of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art for 2014–2016. McCrory has spent the past two years as the curator at the nonprofit Frieze Foundation, where she was responsible for the curated portion of the Frieze Art Fair. In addition, she helped conceive and develop Frieze Projects East, which comprised six public arts projects scattered throughout East London. She was previously cocurator at Studio Voltaire in London.
The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art has announced that Ariel Emanuel will be joining its board of trustees. A co-CEO of the entertainment and media agency William Morris Endeavor, Emanuel is also on the board of the American Film Institute. The museum is also welcoming Maurice Marciano back onto its board. Marciano, the founder of the fashion label Guess, was also a trustee at LA MoCA in 2008. He has also donated a sculpture by Sterling Ruby to the museum and promised a painting by Tauba Auerbach. Said board cochair David G. Johnson, “We look forward to engaging with two individuals who are major forces in the contemporary art world.”
The BBC reports that Museums Sheffield, the “charitable trust which runs many of the city’s museums and galleries,” has received nearly two million dollars from Arts Council England. The money will fund exhibitions and improve its archaeology collections, galleries, and spaces until 2015. The nonprofit was forced earlier to lay off thirty-eight staff members after losing a little over two million dollars of Arts Council funding earlier this year, and seeing an end to the million-dollar grant from the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council. Chief executive Kim Streets said, “We want people to keep coming through our doors, [to] keep visiting us and having a good time in our museums and galleries.”
Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts director Gary Tinterow yesterday announced that Deborah L. Roldán has been named assistant director of exhibitions. Roldán comes from a recent position as curator and exhibition coordinator at the Fundación Juan March, where she coordinated exhibitions and accompanying publications at the foundation’s three sites in Madrid, Palma, and Cuenca. She has also served as a consultant to the Museo Picasso Malaga and the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. In 2002, with Tinterow, she cocurated “Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she was a research associate. “I am thrilled that Deborah Roldán is joining our team,” said Tinterow. “Over nearly twenty years as a curator and exhibition administrator, Deborah has demonstrated exceptional skill in managing the complex details of international exhibitions and curatorial projects.”