News

  • Minority Arts Council Will Address Funding Inequities

    Saying that cultural institutions of color have been historically neglected, activists and New York City elected officials have announced a new ethnic arts coalition that will aggressively pursue government funding to produce art and help boost the city's economy, Curtis L. Taylor reports in Newsday. City-council majority whip Leroy Comrie and councilman Charles Barron said the council's twenty-five-member Black, Latino and Hispanic Caucus would help the group form a comprehensive plan. Currently, Barron said, black, Latino, and Asian cultural institutions receive far less city money than other

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  • Van Gogh Is Top Lot at Impressionist and Modern Art Sale

    The International Herald Tribune reports that Christie's Impressionist and modern art sale, held in London on Wednesday, brought in more than twenty-five million pounds (forty-two million dollars). Three works by Vincent van Gogh, including a long-lost pen-and-ink sketch, sold for a total of more than eight million pounds (fourteen million dollars).

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  • Boston Museum Unveils a Pricey Masterpiece

    On Thursday at noon, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts unveiled the most expensive purchase it has ever made: an 1876 oil painting by Edgar Degas that required the sale of three other major works to finance. Explaining the reasoning behind the decision to deaccession the three works and acquire the Degas in their stead, museum director Malcolm Rogers told the Boston Globe's Geoff Edgers: ‘'This lets people know that . . . our collection is growing, that our collection is capable of being strengthened; it tells people we are ambitious to represent just the very greatest in the art world.'’

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  • Fred Sandback Dies at Fifty-Nine

    Sculptor Fred Sandback, internationally known for his Minimalist works made from lengths of colored yarn, died on Monday at his studio in New York, Ken Johnson writes in the New York Times. He was fifty-nine.

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  • Met's Well-Heeled Neighbors Seek to Block Expansion

    In recent weeks, Greg Sargent reports in the New York Observer, an incendiary fundraising letter has been circulating among wealthy Upper East Side residents who are fighting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s multimillion-dollar expansion plan. The letter calls the Met “arrogant” and sets a goal of raising more than three hundred thousand dollars to finance a legal action against the expansion.

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  • Berlin Museum, Closed Since World War II, Will Reopen

    Renovation work is to begin on Berlin's Neues Museum, one of the city's last remaining war ruins, the BBC reports. Listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, it has been empty and unused since it was bombed during World War II. British architect David Chipperfield, who is designing the renovation, says the museum will be ready to reopen in 2009.

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  • Museum Hunts for Schwitters's Last Paintings

    Staff members at the Armitt Museum in England’s Lake District have launched a search for numerous works by Kurt Schwitters that they believe could be gathering dust in houses throughout the area, the BBC reports. Schwitters sold paintings for only a few pounds when he lived in the Lake District during the three years preceding his death in 1948. Peter Jackson, chairman of the Armitt, said, “We know that [the works] are out there lying in garages and lofts.”

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  • In Israel, A New Museum for Works by Persecuted Artists

    The Bar-Gera Museum, dedicated to works by politically persecuted artists of the twentieth century, opened on June 22 in the Israeli city of Ashdod, Deutsche Welle reports. Named for collectors and Holocaust survivors Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera, the museum houses art that was considered subversive in the former Soviet Union, in Franco-era Spain, and in Nazi Germany.

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  • Vatican's Art Collection Goes Online

    The Sistine Chapel is now online, MSNBC reports. The Vatican put its enormous art collection on the Internet on Tuesday, launching a new site for the Vatican Museums that it hopes will attract more tourists while also “disseminating the church’s message around the globe.”

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  • Under New Director, British Museum Weathers Difficulties

    The British Museum, which is currently celebrating its 250th anniversary, has been troubled lately by budget deficits, staff cuts, closed galleries, and an unprecedented one-day strike. Yet the mood inside the museum's sprawling neoclassical home in Bloomsbury is not glum, Alan Riding reports in the New York Times. Credit seems due to Neil MacGregor, 56, who last year took over as the museum's director.

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  • Schiele Painting Fetches Record Sum

    Egon Schiele's painting Landscape at Krumau, 1916, which was returned to its owners sixty-five years after it was looted by the Nazis, fetched a record price of more than 12.6 million pounds (21 million dollars) at Sotheby's in London on Monday night. The price, which far exceeded Sotheby's high estimate, was a record for a Schiele, and made the painting the most expensive work of art ever sold after being looted in war and later restituted, Will Bennett reports in The Telegraph.

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  • Estimated Number of Looted Items Climbs Again

    As low as 1,700 a few weeks ago, the estimated number of items lost during the looting of Iraq's National Museum is on the rise again. U.S. and Iraqi officials have confirmed the theft of at least six thousand artifacts from the museum, Guy Gugliotta reports in the Washington Post. The U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that the official count of missing items had reached six thousand on June 13 and is likely to climb as workers continue to take inventory at the museum.

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