News

  • Museum Attendance Bounces Back

    The Association of Art Museum Directors in New York recently announced that museums have mostly been able to maintain or even increase their pre–September 11 staffing and programs, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The AAMD also announced that museum attendance has bounced back to pre–September 11 levels or even climbed higher, despite an overall decline in tourism.

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  • LA: Magnet for Young Artists?

    A new wave of foreign-born artists are gravitating to Los Angeles, Louise Roug writes in the Los Angeles Times, citing photographers Karin Apollonia Müller and Stefanie Schneider, both from Germany, among other examples. “New York has remained the marketing center for visual arts, but LA has taken over as the production center,” says Sammy Hoy, dean of Otis College of Art and Design, while Anne Philbin, head of the UCLA Hammer Museum, says young artists from everywhere “make a beeline to LA.”

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  • Photographs Command Record Prices at Seagram's Auction

    The sale of the Seagram's art collection got off to a strong start over the weekend with an auction of photographs at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg in New York that brought in 2.8 million dollars, Suzanne Muchnic reports in the Los Angeles Times. Works by thirty artists, including William Eggleston, commanded record prices.

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  • Libeskind Responds to Criticism

    Daniel Libeskind's design for Ground Zero includes plans for a plaza that will be filled with sun on September 11 of each year. But Brooklyn architect Eli Attia, a constant critic of the design process, has said that his study shows that shadows could be cast over the “Wedge of Light” plaza by the Millennium Hilton Hotel and other buildings. Libeskind defended the feasibility of his proposal on Thursday, calling his latest critic “one of the sore losers,” Katia Hetter reports in Newsday.

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  • Hilton Kramer Laments “Museum Expansion Follies”

    In the New York Observer, Hilton Kramer assesses the “turbulence and disarray” that has resulted from the recent wave of ambitious museum expansion plans. “Among New York museums these days, those that are not already in the process of realizing some mega-expansion folly are suffering the embarrassment of having to announce the cancellation of their projected expansions, which—surprise, surprise—it has suddenly been discovered, the museums can no longer afford,” writes Kramer.

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  • UNESCO Urges Ban on Import of Looted Artifacts

    UNESCO is urging the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution requiring all countries to ban the import of thousands of artifacts looted from Iraqi museums, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. At a press conference on Wednesday, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura said, “If there is a new Security Council resolution . . . demanding all countries to introduce an embargo on importation of Iraqi cultural goods, that would be a very important step forward.”

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  • Critics Take Aim at Rio's Guggenheim Plans

    The New York–based Guggenheim organization has had to retrench in recent months due to a drop in revenues, but Rio de Janeiro's government has agreed to pay for a long-planned branch of the museum in that city. However, Michael Astor writes in the Washington Post, critics are calling the plan “a cultural Titanic,” questioning everything from its cost to the design by French architect Jean Nouvel, which some have likened to a huge rusting oil drum partly submerged in the bay.

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  • Asbestos Forces Closure of Rijksmuseum

    Asbestos, the potentially lethal insulation material used in older buildings, was found during an inspection of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum on Monday, the BBC reports. The museum, renowned for its collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, will have to be closed to the public and staff for an indefinite period, museum officials said.

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  • Art Thieves Leave a Message

    When authorities discovered stolen paintings by van Gogh, Gaugin, and Picasso in a public bathroom in the UK on Monday, they also found a message from the thieves, Newsday reports. The message said the theft was carried out in order to highlight “poor security” at the Whitworth Gallery, from which the paintings were stolen on Sunday. All the paintings sustained significant damage when they were taken.

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  • Winner of Beck's Futures Prize Announced

    This year's Beck's Futures prize of 24,000 pounds (38,000 dollars) has been awarded to twenty-nine-year-old Rosalind Nashashibi. Nashashibi is the third Glasgow-based artist to win the prize in its four-year history, and the first woman, Charlotte Mullins reports in the Financial Times.

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  • Arts Patrons: The Real Arbiters of Culture

    Arts patrons—the well-heeled volunteers who have won board seats at the city's largest arts institutions—are the people who really shape the cultural character of Los Angeles, Christopher Reynolds writes in the Los Angeles Times. But the price of admission to this exclusive club is rising fast, and, as their donations grow, board members are asking more questions and exerting more influence.

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