News

  • Seattle Art Museum Expands Curatorial Staff

    Gearing up for an expansion that will more than triple its gallery space by 2007, the Seattle Art Museum has created a new curatorial position and hired a conservator of sculptures, installations, and other objects, Regina Hackett writes in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. SAM's new curator of American art is Patricia Junker, a nationally recognized specialist in 19th- and early-20th-century American art. The new conservator is K. Elizabeth Brown, former curator of objects at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian Art since its opening in 2000.

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  • As Status Symbol, New Art Gains on Antiques and Old Masters

    The wealthy once bought Old Masters and antiques to adorn their homes, but now they are more likely to invest in a Damien Hirst than a Regency commode. As Louise Baring reports in The Telegraph, well-heeled collectors increasingly look to contemporary art—not elegant antiques or older artworks—for a touch of class. “The whole art-buying class in Britain has changed,” says Anna Somers-Cocks, editorial director of The Art Newspaper. "These people no longer aspire to live with sideboards stacked with silver or nice Regency furniture. They want modern things.''

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  • Another Boom Year for the Art Market

    The art market had a very bullish year in 2004, Artprice reports. Turnover at fine art auctions jumped by more than 30 per cent over 2003, wiping out the lingering effects of the 2001 slump. Much of this growth was due to high-profile auctions hosted by Sotheby's and Christie's. Noting strong demand in the US art market, the two rival market leaders put up lots of a higher quality than the previous year. Of these, 378 went for over a million dollars, compared to 229 in 2003.

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  • West Kowloon Controversy Embroils Pompidou, Guggenheim

    Imagine a cultural complex several times the size of Lincoln Center sitting on a long peninsula jutting into the heart of one of the world's greatest natural harbors, with four giant museums, four large concert halls and theaters, a school for the arts and more, Keith Bradsher writes in the New York Times. That is what the Hong Kong government wants to build, and it has already commissioned a design by Norman Foster for an immense canopy of clear plastic over the peninsula and taken bids from developers to build the complex, the West Kowloon Cultural District. But the project has become the

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  • Installation of The Gates Officially Begins

    Forklifts yesterday began moving fifteen thousand steel bases into place for Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, which will allow visitors to Central Park to walk through 7,500 gates hung with panels of saffron-colored fabric, Elizabeth LeSure writes in the Daily News. The temporary work will consist of sixteen-foot-high gates placed along twenty-three miles of footpaths, usually at twelve-foot intervals. Fabric will be suspended from each gate, falling to seven feet above the ground.

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  • Can the Pennsylvania Academy Regain Its Prominence?

    Once upon a long time ago, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was one of the American art world's most visible and influential museums, Edward J. Sozanski writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Its annual exhibitions, discontinued in 1969 after 158 years, were instrumental in defining artistic taste and excellence. The new year brings with it a newly configured academy: With the opening of an eleven-story addition, it's considerably larger, and can now exhibit 2 1/2 times as much art. But will that alone restore the prominence it has lost?

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  • Steven Parrino, Forty-Six, Dies after Motorcycle Accident

    Artist Steven Parrino has died after a motorcycle accident, Newsday reports. Parrino, forty-six, died at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan early Saturday. He was returning from a New Year's Eve party when he lost control and fell off his red Harley Davidson motorcycle in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, not far from his home. According to the web site of Team Gallery in Chelsea, which launched Parrino's fourth solo exhibit in late 2004, “Parrino's oeuvre has been enthusiastically supported by the European museum and gallery system while remaining relatively unknown here. A critical reappraisal of the work is

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  • Chicago's Millennium Park: Draining Arts Dollars?

    Millennium Park, Chicago's splashy new cultural playground, may prove to be a double-edged sword for the city, Chris Jones writes in the Chicago Tribune. On the one hand, Millennium Park is widely perceived as representing the long-awaited arrival of a critical cultural mass in downtown Chicago. But there's a downside. The construction of Millennium Park ate up a whopping $200 million in local arts philanthropic dollars. And it's seeking still more donated money in 2005 to fully establish its ongoing conservancy.

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  • New EU Law Threatens London Art Market

    “If our rulers wanted to accomplish one small, useful and achievable thing in the next 363 days, they would address the EU's droit de suite directive,” Max Hastings writes in The Guardian. “Never heard of it?. . . It has prompted alarm throughout the British art world. It is due to be implemented on January 1, 2006. The measure will give artists, and their descendants for seventy years after their deaths, claims upon a levy imposed every time one of their works is resold. . . . [I]n practice, it will simply cause owners of contemporary art to send works for sale in markets where the levy is not

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  • Art Miami Sharpens Its Focus and Polishes Its Image

    After flailing around in the crowded field of South Florida art fairs, Art Miami organizers have settled on a vision to become an affordable, accessible, and homegrown alternative to the behemoth Art Basel Miami Beach, Daniel Chang reports in the Miami Herald. Preparing for Art Miami's fifteenth season, director Ilana Vardy says the pioneering local fair has abandoned for good a catch-all approach in favor of a more discerning style. With 125 galleries from twenty-four countries exhibiting at the Miami Beach Convention Center from Friday through January 10, Art Miami has shed its perceived Latin

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  • The Age of the Itinerant Artist

    The art world at the turn of the 21st century has been distinguished by globe-trotting professionals of every ilk: curators, critics and collectors who regularly take to the road to attend art fairs, biennials and auctions, Roberta Smith writes in the New York Times. But the most important players are the increasingly peripatetic artists. They show up almost empty-handed in Venice, Chicago or Beacon, New York, and conjure bits of site-specific fabulousness, using whatever they find in front of them, socially, architecturally, historically and artistically.

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  • Theft at V&A Raises Questions about Security

    The Victoria & Albert Museum in London has been targeted by professional art thieves for the third time in as many months, Sean O'Neill reports in The Times (London). The museum authorities disclosed yesterday that a series of Italian Renaissance bronze plaquettes were stolen on Wednesday. The theft is the largest of the three robberies and a big embarrassment for the V&A, which has been severely criticized for its lax security.

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