News

  • Walker Moves Forward with Expansion Project

    Despite a lean economy that has slowed fundraising, hammered its endowment, and forced staff layoffs, the Walker Art Center's leadership this week approved the final bids for a ninety-million-dollar expansion. The Walker's director, Kathy Halbreich, spoke at length with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Mary Abbe about the expansion project and the institution's future.

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  • Austrian Press Calls for Museum Director's Resignation

    Since a valuable Cellini sculpture was stolen from Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum last week, calls for museum director Wilfried Seipel's resignation have proliferated in Austria, The Guardian's Ian Traynor reports. Seipel defended himself at a press conference in Vienna on Saturday, while the Kronenzeitung, Austria's most widely circulated tabloid, dug into the director's thirteen-year record at the museum and served up alleged past blunders.

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  • Toronto Developers Hope to Create a New Art District

    In Toronto, developers are recruiting tenants for a sprawling property, known as the Distillery and located in the city's industrial district, that they hope to transform into the city's new art center. In order to help the Distillery thrive, they are giving their tenants very long leases at low rents. "This new district is going to do for Toronto what the redevelopment of Covent Garden did for London,'' museum consultant Gail Lord told the Toronto Star's Martin Knelman.

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  • Gulbenkian Prize Goes to Galleries of Justice

    The Galleries of Justice at the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, a small independent Nottingham museum, has been awarded the UK's largest cash prize in the arts, the newly created 100,000-pound (163,000-dollar) Gulbenkian museums prize, Maev Kennedy reports in The Guardian. Other candidates included Rotterham's Clifton Park Museum, Discovery Point in Dundee, and London's Natural History Museum.

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  • New Museum Selects Architects for Bowery Project

    A Japanese architecture team has been chosen to design the new 35-million-dollar home of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Newsday reports. Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, of the Tokyo-based partnership SANAA, will create a multiple-use facility for the New Museum on the site of what is now a parking lot on the Bowery in Lower Manhattan.

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  • Strong Postwar and Contemporary Art Sales at Christie's

    Two Mark Rothko paintings led the spring postwar and contemporary art sale at Christie's International in New York, with one of them, No. 9 (White and Black on Wine), setting an auction record for the artist at 16.3 million dollars, Bloomberg reports. The sales were part of a 69.8-million-dollar auction that Christopher Burge, Christie's honorary chairman and the evening's auctioneer, said produced the highest returns of any sale in any category this year.

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  • LA Previews Gehry's Arts Complex

    At a preview of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is set to open in Los Angeles this fall, architect Frank Gehry called the project a “living room for the city,” while the LA Philharmonic's music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen, rebutted complaints that the arts complex was developed to give the carriage trade yet another elite diversion. “This is a building that can be shared by everyone,” Salonen told the Los Angeles Daily News's Fred Shustler.

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  • Buyers Play It Safe At Contemporary-Art Sale

    With a few exceptions, works sold steadily, but prices were moderate at Sotheby's contemporary-art auction on Tuesday, Christopher Michaud reports on Reuters. The auction took in only 74 percent of its presale estimate of 33.7 million to 46.7 million dollars, for a total of 27.3 million dollars. “People were looking for safety,” Tobias Meyer, Sotheby's worldwide head of contemporary art and the evening's auctioneer, said afterward.

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  • Report Predicts Staff Cuts at NYC Cultural Institutions

    A report prepared by the Cultural Institutions Group, a league of organizations owned by New York City or occupying city land, details the impact that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposed budget cuts would have on the arts. The report warns in particular that as many as one thousand staff members would have to be dismissed from city cultural institutions if the cuts were implemented, Robin Pogrebin reports in the New York Times.

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  • Vienna Museum May Negotiate for Sculpture's Return

    William Seipel, the director of Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum, said Tuesday that the museum would consider negotiating with whoever stole a gold-plated sculpture by Florentine master Benvenuto Cellini, a significant Italian Renaissance work valued at 57 million dollars. In addition, an 81,200-dollar reward is being offered for information leading to the object's recovery, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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  • Supreme Court Puts Hold on World War II Art-Looting Case

    The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a California woman from pursuing a lawsuit to recover six Gustav Klimt paintings that Nazis stole from her family sixty-five years ago in Austria, the Kansas City Star reports. The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has said that the woman, Maria Altmann, may use US courts to sue the Austrian state, but the Supreme Court has granted Austria's request to put that ruling on hold. The Bush administration has said the lawsuit should be barred.

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  • Maxwell L. Anderson, Director of the Whitney, Resigns

    Maxwell L. Anderson, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, resigned Monday after five years in the post, Carol Vogel reports in the New York Times. He said in a statement that it had “become clear in recent months that the board and I have a different sense of the Whitney's future, in both the scale of its ambitions and the balance of its programming.”

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