News

  • Coveted Print Collection Goes to Smithsonian

    Robert O. Muller, a top American connoisseur, has left the Smithsonian Institution his collection of more than four thousand Japanese color prints from the late 1800s and the 1900s, Carl Hartman reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Many dealers had tried to buy the collection, and the bequest came as a surprise to museum officials.

    Read more
  • Tate-to-Tate Ferry Service Open for Business

    Millbank Millenium Pier, a steel structure on the Thames that will house boats for a new ferry service linking Tate Modern and Tate Britain, opened on Thursday, the BBC reports. London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, was on hand for the unveiling, along with Damien Hirst, who designed the pattern of colorful dots that covers the service's boats.

    Read more
  • Analyzing the Economic Impact of Funding Cuts

    In the Detroit Free Press, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of the nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts, analyzes the probable economic fallout from the recent wave of state and local arts-funding cuts. “It's ironic that these cuts have come just when the economic activity generated by the arts is needed most,” Lynch writes. “A study conducted by economists at the Georgia Institute of Technology for Americans for the Arts last year revealed that the nonprofit arts industry alone generates 134 billion dollars in economic activity every year.”

    Read more
  • William Forsyth, A Creator of the Cloisters, Dies

    William Forsyth, a former Metropolitan Museum of Art curator, died May 14 in Highstown, New Jersey, Newsday reports. He was ninety-six. In the 1930s, Forsyth worked closely with curator James Rorimor to design the Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to medieval European art and architecture.

    Read more
  • Leaseholder Seeks Changes in Ground Zero Plan

    The New York Daily News reports that World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein is pushing for five office buildings on the site of Ground Zero, one more than envisioned by architect Daniel Libeskind but the same number expressed in an earlier, Silverstein-commissioned plan. Silverstein wants to hire New York architects with more experience than Libeskind in designing office towers, though it remains unclear how much office space Silverstein will actually get to build.

    Read more
  • A Look Inside Corbis's “Iron Mountain”

    Over the past twenty years, writes Mary Battiata in the Washington Post, photography preservationists have discovered that huge swaths of the pictures taken during the past one hundred years are undergoing a spontaneous chemical decomposition that will, if left unchecked, render most of them unusable within the next twenty to fifty years. The industry leader in efforts to preserve the world's photographic legacy may very well be Bill Gates, whose controversial photo-archive company, Corbis, maintains an archive of eleven million images in a gigantic, state-of-the-art underground facility in

    Read more
  • Stolen Paintings Back on Display

    Three valuable paintings that were stolen from an art gallery in Manchester, England, are back on display at the same venue, the BBC reports. The works by Picasso, van Gogh, and Gauguin were taken from the Whitworth Art Gallery on April 27 and were found the next day in a nearby public bathroom. One of the paintings, van Gogh's Fortifications of Paris with Houses, 1878, was significantly damaged but has been restored.

    Read more
  • Greek High Court Rules against Acropolis Museum

    Greece's highest court has ruled against the government's plans to build a new museum at the Acropolis in Athens, the BBC reports. Correspondents say such a ruling is a serious setback for the Greek government's efforts to retrieve the Parthenon frieze known in Britain as the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum in London. Greece had hoped a new modern Acropolis museum would put pressure on Britain to return the sculptures for display during the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

    Read more
  • Law Increasingly Favors Victim in Art-Theft Cases

    Holocaust art theft expert Sarah Jackson of the Art Loss Register in London believes that the recent wave of litigation involving art stolen during World War II is having widespread repercussions. “In the past, provenance was important to establish value. Today, provenance is taking center stage because of liability. The law is changing slowly, but remorselessly, in favor of the victim,” the Los Angeles Times' Anne-Marie O'Connor quotes Jackson as saying.

    Read more
  • US Military Releases Report on Looting

    A US Marine colonel released a report in Baghdad on Friday indicating that museum staff or professional art smugglers committed the bulk of the looting of Iraq's National Museum. The report also tallied the results of the US military's recovery efforts so far, Patrick Healy and Geoff Edgers report in the Boston Globe. To date, 951 artifacts have been recovered, along with almost 40,000 scrolls and manuscripts.

    Read more
  • Artforum's Jack Bankowsky to Become Editor at Large

    In the New York Times, Carol Vogel reports on a personnel change at Artforum: After the September 2003 issue, editor in chief Jack Bankowsky will become editor at large in charge of special projects. In his new role, he will focus on putting out special issues, organizing ancillary events such as symposia, and expanding the magazine's coverage abroad. A new editor in chief will be named within the month.

    Read more
  • Contemporary Art Market on the Rise

    In the Los Angeles Times, Suzanne Muchnic analyzes the results of this spring's New York auction season, which concluded on Friday. Sales were more successful than might have been expected, and it was evident that the market for contemporary art continues to rise. It seems to be only a matter of time, Muchnic writes, until contemporary art auctions routinely outshine those of the longtime market leaders, Impressionist and modern art.

    Read more