News

  • Some States Propose End to Arts Funding

    In Arizona, a legislative committee has recommended eliminating the state arts agency and its 5.1-million-dollar annual budget, writes Stephen Kinzer in the New York Times. Goveror James E. McGreevey of New Jersey, who is grappling with a five-billion-dollar deficit, has proposed cutting the entire eighteen-million-dollar budget of his state's Council on the Arts. Missouri is also planning to eliminate its entire arts budget.

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  • Gifts to Arts Brighten Unspectacular Year

    “The 2002 Slate 60,” the annual list of charitable gifts and pledges from the country's top philanthropists, totaled $4.6 billion, less than half of 2001's total of $12.7 billion, writes Laurie Snyder in Slate.com. Walter H. Annenberg topped this year's list with a bequest of one billion dollars worth of art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Ruth Lilly, heiress to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, came in at No. 2 with a $520 million pledge to various arts organizations, including a $100 million gift to Poetry magazine.

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  • Taking Stock of London's Contemporary Market

    London's annual Contemporary, Modern, and Impressionist sales, held earlier this month, were packed, and more than 80 percent of lots were sold at firm, if not striking, market estimates, writes Andrew Renton in the Evening Standard. But the best of the “turning” and profit-taking has gone, and the contemporary collectors have stocked up on the prizes they missed first time round.

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  • Van Dyck in Shocking Exposé

    After a year of restoration and investigation, staff at Scotland's National Gallery have been able to shed light on a work Van Dyck wanted no one to see. Underneath the canvas of St Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom is a previous work, also of Saint Sebastian and almost an exact copy of a Van Dyck that hangs in the Louvre, writes Kirsty Scott in The Guardian. Traces of dust under the top layers of paint suggest that the seventeenth-century painter had hung his original work for some time before deciding it had to be redone in a different style.

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  • War-Looted Art to Be Sold by Heirs

    A British family whose grandparents were murdered by the Nazis are to sell art and antiques worth two million pounds (three million dollars) in one of the biggest sales of war-looted art, writes Will Bennett in The Telegraph. The works of art were part of a huge collection originally amassed by Eugen Gutmann, who founded the Dresdner Bank in Germany. The Commission for Looted Art in Europe took up the family's case, and last year 233 paintings and antiques were returned.

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  • Finding a Safe Place for Dresden's Treasures

    In Dresden, museum administrators and curators are now complaining that Saxony's regional government has refused to provide them with a safe place to store their art after this summer's flood, writes Alan Riding in the New York Times. One positive consequence of the near disaster, however, was fresh recognition of Dresden's art collections. A selection of exceptional works from the Zwinger Palace old-masters collection was first presented in Hamburg and is now on exhibit at the Altes Museum in Berlin through February 28. About fifty Dresden masterpieces will then go on display at the Royal

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  • Clear Channel “Providing Content” to Museums

    Blockbusters can be the salvation for exhibitors, and media giant Clear Channel is eager to provide them, writes Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune. “Treasures of the Vatican,” which includes 350 pieces drawn from the Vatican museum's collection, has secured berths at such institutions as the San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale (the Art Institute of Chicago passed on the exhibit, but would not disclose the reasons). Earlier this month, Clear Channel's “Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge” began a fifteen-city tour, originating at the National Hispanic Cultural

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  • Muschamp on the Hot Seat

    Is New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp—long a lightning rod for criticism—getting too cozy with his advocacy? asks Sridhar Pappu in the New York Observer. Some within the architectural community think so, charging that Mr. Muschamp exhibited a conflict of interest in his read-by-everyone review in the February 6 Times, which promoted the two-tower Ground Zero plan helmed by an architect he knows and has worked with—Rafael Viñoly of the THINK group—while aggressively diminishing the other, Daniel Libeskind’s single-tower, “bathtub”-preserving design.

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  • Getty and Courtauld Enter into Agreement

    The J. Paul Getty Museum has given London's Courtauld Institute ten million dollars toward its endowment, writes Carol Vogel in the New York Times. The Getty also asked the institute to lend it some of its world-class collection of old masters, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist paintings and sculptures.

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  • L.A. Critic Responds to His Readers

    After calling Bush's war plans “imbecilic” in a review of an art exhibition, Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight responds to readers' reactions.

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  • Arts Council of England Consolidates and Spends

    Spending on individual artists by the Arts Council of England is to nearly double to twenty-five million pounds (forty million dollars) over the next few years, reports the BBC News. The Arts Council has undergone several months of restructuring, merging with regional arts boards to form one central organization.

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  • Major Donation for Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Real-estate and steel magnate Joey Tanenbaum and his wife, Toby, have announced an immense donation of 211 nineteenth-century European works to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, writes Sarah Milroy in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Tanenbaum confirms the gift has been valued at up to ninety million Canadian dollars (fifty-nine million US dollars).

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