News Register for our weekly news digest here.

  • Learning from the Woolworth Building

    New York's finest skyscrapers have virtually all been the product of synergy between an architect hitting his stride and a strong-willed client with a clear program and the ambition to make a mark, argues Barry Bergdoll. As we look beyond September 11 and the increasingly cacophonous debate over what should be built on the fraught terrain of Ground Zero, perhaps the history of the Woolworth Building, designed by Cass Gilbert—and the world's tallest from 1913 to 1930—offers some answers.

    Read more
  • UK Museums Receive Infusion of Cash

    The UK's top non-national museums and galleries have received a multimillion-pound boost from the government. Grants totaling £5.2 million have been awarded to forty-nine institutions across the country, Arts Minister Tessa Blackstone announced on Wednesday. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said the extra money will widen access to culture and create an “avalanche of art.” The move follows last week's pledge from Chancellor Gordon Brown to give an extra £75 million to the arts by 2005/2006.

    Read more
  • Old Masters Rise Again

    Speculation had been growing about how much the recently rediscovered Rubens, The Massacre of the Innocents, would fetch. Some were talking about more than £20 million, others predicted at least £30 million. Eight bidders tried to buy the painting, but victory went to Sam Fogg, whose gallery is just down the road from Sotheby's. Fogg, who deals mostly in rare books and manuscripts, paid £49,506,650 on behalf of a client believed to be the Canadian-based newspaper magnate Lord Thomson of Fleet.

    Read more
  • Turmoil at the British Museum

    From the outside, the British Museum looks the same as ever. An average 400,000 visitors come and go each month, drawn by special new exhibitions—currently, the big-ticket show is a celebration of the life of the Queen of Sheba—and by perennial favorites like the Elgin Marbles and the collections of Egyptian antiquities. Norman Foster's soaring $145 million Great Court, completed in 2000, provides a gleaming modern centerpiece to a doughty institution nearing its 250th birthday.

    Read more
  • Painting Europe

    Judging from the two big international shows in Europe this summer, one might almost conclude that painting is no longer a viable art form. There's barely a canvas to be seen in either Documenta 11, the latest version of the global survey that takes over Kassel, Germany, every five years, or its no-frills, equally earnest doppelgänger, Manifesta 4, a short train ride away in Frankfurt. Instead, video—that sleek, cost-efficient, hypnotizing successor to installation art—and photography rule the international survey circuit.

    Read more
  • WTC Memorial Plans Get a Workout

    Thud. That was the sound accompanying the six plans for the former World Trade Center site that were made public Tuesday. Not “ooh.” Not “aah.” Not “wow.” Thud—or so says the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic, Blair Kamin. It therefore might be a good thing, he goes on to suggest, that officials are calling the designs a mere starting point for debate.

    Read more
  • Billionaires Like it Hot (and Modern)

    These are the top connoisseurs—the collectors most valued by international auction houses and leading dealers. Not only do they have taste, but also the means to indulge their passions. Every year the authoritative US business magazine Forbes publishes its list of billionaires, but this time around it also provided a special list of wealthy art collectors (see www.forbes.com). The Art Newspaper has discovered that the great majority go for twentieth-century and today’s art.

    Read more
  • German Expressionist Hoard To Be Auctioned

    A $20 million collection of German Expressionist and modern art that has been in the same Stuttgart family for three generations will be auctioned on October 8 and 9 at Sotheby's in London. The sale includes major German and Austrian paintings by artists including August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, and Alexei von Jawlensky, along with watercolors and prints by Max Beckmann and Max Pechstein.

    Read more
  • Stopgap at the Gugg

    Not bad for a stopgap measure. Forced by money woes to postpone the Kasimir Malevich exhibition until 2003, the Guggenheim Museum gave the slot to new art and invited a hot young designer-architect to orchestrate the installation. The result, “Moving Pictures,” is a lively exhibition of photographs, films, video, and related installations from the museum's permanent collection.

    Read more
  • “California Biennial” Is on the Right Laugh Track

    Laughter comes in all shapes and sizes, and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know the difference between nervous titters, polite ha-has, and gleeful giggles. The same goes for the “2002 California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, where slapstick, parody, and comic relief compete for your attention.

    Read more
  • Warhol Pays Off for LA MoCA

    LA MoCA took a big risk in taking on the Andy Warhol retrospective currently on view. At a time when it was forced to trim $2 million from its $15 million operating budget, it gambled that the exhibition, which cost almost $3 million, would pay for itself and build an audience and donor base that would help it grow in the future. It looks like Andy has indeed delivered. The king of Pop art is more popular than ever.

    Read more