June 18, 2010

Arts Council England Dips into Reserves to Minimize Funding Cuts

Britain's new governing coalition has cut about thirty-four million dollars out of the Arts Council England’s 2010–2011 budget, which will result in about $2.6 million being cut from grants offered to regularly funded organizations, reports the British Journal of Photography.

Mark Brown writes in The Guardian that Arts Council England’s cuts amount to a 0.5 percent funding reduction for each of the 808 arts organizations to which it regularly gives money—far smaller than had been feared. At the top end it equates to a $227,200 cut for the Royal Opera House; $166,400 for the South Bank Center; $158,400 for the National Theater; $147,200 for the English National Opera; and $128,000 for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

June 18, 2010

Thomas S. Buechner (1926–2010)

Thomas S. Buechner, who led the Brooklyn Museum through an ambitious renovation as its director in the 1960s and who was the founding director of the Corning Museum of Glass, died on Sunday at his home in Corning, NY, according to William Grimes in the New York Times. He was eighty-three.

Buechner, a painter and illustrator on the side, served for ten years as the director of the Corning Museum of Glass before becoming director of the Brooklyn Museum in 1960. At thirty-three, he was one of the youngest museum directors in the United States.

His signal accomplishment in Brooklyn was to oversee a decade-long program that brought the building up to modern museum standards, with proper temperature and humidity controls and study galleries for all departments. Disturbed by the number of works in storage, unavailable to visitors and scholars, he transformed the space into what he called an open-study storage gallery that put more than one-thousand paintings on display.

Buechner also rescued Daniel Chester French’s allegorical figures representing Manhattan and Brooklyn, formerly on the Brooklyn plaza of the Manhattan Bridge, and placed them on either side of the museum’s main entrance.

Buechner established the museum as a scholarly institution whose exhibitions on ancient and contemporary glass traveled to museums around the country. He founded two professional journals, the Journal of Glass Studies and New Glass Review.

After resigning from the Brooklyn Museum in 1971, he returned to Corning Glass, where he became president of its Steuben Glass division in 1973, a position he held until 1982. He also served again as director of the Corning Museum of Glass from 1973 to 1980.

After retiring from Corning in 1987, he returned to painting full time, executing portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. His books included Norman Rockwell: Artist and Illustrator (1970) and How I Paint (2000).

June 18, 2010

Angelika Taschen Heads to Distanz Verlag

According to Sleek Magazine, Dr. Angelika Taschen, who has shaped the program, attitude, and perception of art book publishing house Taschen ever since she started to collaborate with her now ex-husband Benedikt Taschen, is about to distance herself from her former sphere of activity—quite literally. From January 2011, Taschen will join the founders of the Distanz Verlag (German for distance), advertiser and collector Christian Boros and long-time publishing expert Uta Grosenick (also a former Taschen affiliate who edited the “Art Now” series) as equal partner. The publishing house will be based in a former pump-bay which during the last century served as storage for public sculpture.

According to publishing house Taschen’s website, Angelika Taschen studied art history and German literature in Heidelberg, gaining her doctorate in 1986. Working for Taschen since 1987, she has published numerous titles on art, architecture, photography, design, travel, and lifestyle.

June 18, 2010

Thomas Collins Named New Director of Miami Art Museum

According to the New York Times' Kate Taylor, the Miami Art Museum has named Thomas Collins, currently the director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, NY, as its new director, effective August 16, the museum said on Thursday. The Miami museum has been without a permanent director since Terence Riley, the former chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, resigned abruptly in October after less than four years in the post. The museum is planning to break ground later this year on a new $131 million building designed by the firm Herzog & de Meuron, which is scheduled to open in 2013.

June 17, 2010

Deborah Marrow Appointed Director and CEO of the Getty Trust

The Getty Foundation's board of directors today selected Deborah Marrow as the interim replacement director and CEO, positions that were left vacant when James E. Wood died unexpectedly last week.

This is the second time that Marrow has held the positions, having served between 2006 and 2007, when the board was considering a replacement for Barry Munitz, who was forced to resign following an investigation into financial malfeasance at the trust. The organization eventually selected Wood, relieving Marrow of the post. Her previous leadership experience includes serving on the board of governors of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and the National and International Committees for the History of Art.

June 17, 2010

Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2010 National Design Award Winners

Cooper-Hewitt director Bill Moggridge has announced the winners and finalists of the 2010 National Design Awards, which recognize excellence across a variety of disciplines. The 2010 National Design Award nominations were solicited from a committee of more than 2,500 designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures, and corporate leaders from every state in the nation. Nominees must have at least seven years of experience in order to be nominated, and winners are selected based on the level of excellence, innovation, and public impact of their body of work.

June 17, 2010

Irene Hofmann Named Phillips Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe announced yesterday that Irene Hofmann has been named Phillips director and chief curator, effective October 1. The appointment was ratified at a meeting of SITE’s board of directors. Hofmann succeeds Laura Steward, who became director of the museum in 2005 and in 2009 announced that she would be stepping down following the opening of the 2010 International Biennial.

“Irene’s passion for contemporary art and her understanding and appreciation of the nuances of leading an arts organization are breathtaking and inspiring,” said Cornelia Bryer, president of SITE Santa Fe’s board of directors.

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining such a dynamic institution as SITE Santa Fe and to continue its tradition of artistic innovation, curatorial excellence, and groundbreaking artist-centered projects,” said Hofmann. “At the heart of SITE’s mission is a dedication to exploring the artistic vanguard and a belief in the power of contemporary art to create inspiring personal experiences for its audiences, local, national and international. I am inspired by these ideals and look forward to working with SITE’s board and staff as we continue SITE’s challenging and rewarding work,” Hofmann said.

Hofmann is a curator, writer, arts administrator, and museum director. She served as executive director of the Contemporary Museum, in Baltimore, from 2005 to 2010. From 2001 to 2005, Hofmann was curator of the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California. She has also held positions at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

June 17, 2010

James Crump Named Chief Curator of Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art museum director Aaron Betsky has announced today the promotion of Dr. James Crump to chief curator to oversee the activities of the museum’s curatorial division. Dr. Crump, who will continue to serve as curator of photography and will work with deputy director for curatorial affairs Anita Ellis, is known internationally for his work with contemporary artists and photographers.

“Dr. Crump is an invaluable part of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s successes and future growth, said Betsky. “His expertise and leadership will prove a major part of the strategic direction of the museum. An expansion in his role will ensure the continued quality of exhibitions at the museum.”

In 2010, Dr. Crump organized Walker Evans: Decade by Decade and with guest curator, Kevin Moore, he was the organizing curator of “Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980.” He holds a Ph.D. in art history from University of New Mexico. His publications include F. Holland Day: Suffering the Ideal (1995), George Platt Lynes: Photographs from the Kinsey Institute (1993), and Variety: Photographs by Nan Goldin (2009).

Additionally, in 2007, Dr. Crump wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film, Black White + Gray, concerning legendary American curator and collector Sam Wagstaff and artist Robert Mapplethorpe

June 16, 2010

New York Launches NYC Media Lab

Joseph De Aliva reports for the Wall Street Journal that the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Columbia University, and the city plan to open a new lab that will aim to stimulate the local media industry, city officials said Monday.

The NYC Media Lab is the latest of several steps by the Bloomberg administration to boost the city's traditional and digital media sectors. Earlier, the city launched a program called JumpStart, a training program to assist displaced workers looking for digital-media jobs, and it also founded a co-working space called the Hive at 55 in Lower Manhattan for freelancers working in media and technology.

“This is an incredibly important growth area for our city, and the media lab is really going to enhance New York’s already strong leadership position in that industry,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Media remains one of New York’s most important sectors, with about 300,000 employees and $30 billion in annual revenues. Film and broadcasting companies did well the past two years in terms of employment, but publishing was hit hard. Since July 2007, the publishing industry in New York shed 8,700 jobs, or about sixteen percent of its total employees, according to Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist with the real-estate company Eastern Consolidated.

The NYC Media Lab is based on a model used at Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Much of the research will focus on mobile technology, gaming, cyber security, and other areas of digital media.

The lab will help media companies license new technologies developed at the participating schools and contract out new academic research for use in projects, said Kurt Becker, associate provost for research and technology initiatives at NYU-Poly. Other local universities will also be able to contribute.

NYU-Poly’s campus in downtown Brooklyn will house the offices of NYC Media Lab, but most of the actual research and development will take place on the campuses of the participating schools, said Orin Herskowitz, executive director of Columbia Technology Ventures.

As traditional publishing companies change their business models to adapt to new technologies, digital media companies have emerged as a new area for growth in New York’s economy, said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future, a nonpartisan research group.