April 26, 2013

New Associate Curator at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has appointed Dr. Anne-Marie Eze as its associate curator. Eze, who will begin her new position on April 1, has worked there since 2010 as the postdoctoral curatorial fellow, and was responsible for the exhibition “Illuminating the Serenissima: Books of the Republic of Venice,” 2011. She served as assistant curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 2003 through 2006.

April 25, 2013

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Richard Prince

Randy Kennedy reports in the New York Times that the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued a ruling in favor of artist Richard Prince, overturning the federal-court ruling that found him guilty, in 2011, of illegally using images taken and owned by Patrick Cariou. Cariou’s photographs of Rastafarians, published in the book Yes Rasta (2000), appeared in Prince’s collage series “Canal Zone,” which were exhibited by Gagosian Gallery and which sold for a total of over ten million dollars.

The federal judge, Deborah Batts, had ruled that Prince’s defense—fair use—was not adequate because he’d failed to prove that he’d made changes to the Cariou images that were “transformative,” nor did his works “in some way comment on, relate to the historical context of, or critically refer back to the original work.” The appeals court, however, has ruled in favor of Prince’s fair-use defense, finding that most of the artist’s appropriation-heavy work nonetheless has “a different character” from Cariou’s originals.

April 25, 2013

American Folk Art Museum to Auction 200 Works

The American Folk Art Museum will surrender more than two hundred works from its collection to be auctioned in order to settle debts amassed by its former chairman, reports Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper. This news follows that of the sale and eventual demolition of its midtown building, also to pay off debts, as reported here. The former chairman, collector Ralph Esmerian, who is currently serving a six-year prison term for wire fraud and other charges, had promised 263 works of art to the Folk Art Museum in 2005 while also using the works as collateral to secure multimillion-dollar loans from Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Last month, Manhattan’s US Bankruptcy Court approved a settlement that allows the museum to retain fifty-three of the works and sell the remaining in auctions at Sotheby’s in December 2013 or January 2014 to pay Esmerian’s creditors.

April 25, 2013

Darby English Appointed Director of Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, has appointed Darby English as the Starr Director of the research and academic Program. English is currently an associate professor in the art history department at the University of Chicago, as well as a published author on Kara Walker and recent African-American art, previously receiving fellowships and grants from many notable institutions including the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Creative Capital Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Getty Research Institute. He was also honored with Chicago’s Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 2010.

April 25, 2013

Turner Prize 2013 Short List Announced

The short list for the 2013 Turner Prize has been announced, reports Farah Nayeri of Bloomberg. It includes artists Tino Sehgal, David Shrigley, Laure Prouvost, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The UK’s top contemporary art award was established in 1984 and is given to “a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work.” The prize includes a monetary sum of $38,000 for the winner and $8,000 for each runner-up. The winner will be announced on December 2, 2013.

April 24, 2013

David Platzker Named Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at MoMA

David Platzker has been hired as a curator in the the Museum of Modern Art’s department of prints and illustrated books. He will work with the department’s chief curator, Christophe Cherix, on exhibitions, special projects, and acquisitions initiatives. Platzker was executive director of the nonprofit bookstore Printed Matter, and was later project director for Art Spaces Archives Project. He’s currently president of the curatorial project and bookshop Specific Object, which he founded in 2004. With Richard H. Axsom, he coauthored Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg: a Catalogue Raisonné 1958–1996, while serving as curator to Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

April 24, 2013

Columbus Museum of Art Wins 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, is the sole art museum to be named in this year’s list of winners of the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The museum has eighteen thousand square feet of exhibition space, and has partnered with thirty Ohio counties and Columbus schools. “Columbus Museum of Art is honored to be awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” said the museum’s executive director Nannette V. Maciejunes. “We are committed to providing opportunities for people to cultivate and to discover the value of creativity in their own lives. Embracing this idea has enabled to grow as an institution and to better serve our community.” The other museums recognized this year were the Boston Children’s Museum; the Delta Blues Museum, in Clarksdale, Mississippi; and the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

April 23, 2013

Amy Smith-Stewart Appointed Curator of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Amy Smith-Stewart has been named curator of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, effective May 14. An independent curator based in New York, Smith-Stewart has previously held posts at MoMA PS1, the Peter Norton Collection, and Mary Boone Gallery. She is also founder of Smith-Stewart, which was a nomadic gallery in New York’s Lower East Side. Said executive director Alyson Baker: “Amy shares our respect for the museum and its legacy as an institution known for pioneering exhibitions and public programs. Her extensive knowledge of contemporary art, broad curatorial and teaching experience, and ability to mentor artists will advance the Aldrich’s position as a leader in the field.”

April 23, 2013

William Wilson (1935–2013)

Art critic William Wilson, who spent more than three decades writing for the Los Angeles Times, championing artists including Doug Wheeler, Douanier Rosseau, and Andy Warhol, has passed away at the age of seventy-eight, reports Amy Kaufman of the Los Angeles Times. Wilson, who was born and spent his life in LA, attending University of California, Los Angeles, and joining the Los Angeles Times shortly after, also taught at a variety of academic institutions. In 1999, he left the newspaper to work on a book about the history of art in LA. Said Josine Ianco-Starrels, former director of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery: “His opinion was of paramount importance to everyone interested in contemporary art. What he thought informed them of what they ought to be thinking . . . . I loved him because he was honest and had a tongue that sliced smoothly all the way to the bone.”