MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE AND CONSEQUENCE
According to a recent report, in 2009 the U.S. experienced a 2.4% decline in culture related donations. But halfway through 2010, things are looking up. Bellevue, Washington’s Performing Arts Center Eastside became the recipient of a $25 million gift from the Tateuchi Foundation—the third largest single donation to an arts institute since 2007. Over in France, censorship seems to be on the rise. A group exhibit of erotic art scheduled for the Bibliothèque départementale de la Somme in Amiens, France was prevented from opening by Christian Manable, a French Socialist and president of the general counsel. Manable objected on the grounds that such work was unsuitable for a library supported by public funding. And The Getty Museum faces objections of its own, from an Armenian Apolistic church in La Crescenta. The church claims that the museum illegally purchased seven pages ripped from a sacred thirteenth-century Bible during the Armenian genocide. The Getty acquired the pages in 1994. Artist and filmmaker Daryush Shokof, an exiled Iranian living in Berlin, was kidnapped and held for two weeks by four Arabic-speaking man who threatened to kill him based on a film he made that criticizes the Iranian regime. Another filmmaker is in trouble in Virginia, where photographer Anne Pearse-Hocker is suing Firelight Media and the Smithsonian for $450,000, claiming that the 2008 PBS documentary “We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee” used her 1973 photographs without permission or credit. One of the companies owned by Thomas Kincaid, America’s most collected living artist, filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to pay $1 million awarded to gallery owners from an earlier settlement. The gallery owners sued the artist and his company for fraudulently using his Christian faith to coerce them into an unsound investment. As Poland’s National Museum prepares to open an exhibit of homoerotic art in conjunction with the Euro Pride parade, a number of politicians, journalists, historians and artists are protesting the show. Finally, Brandeis University’s troubled Rose Museum is exploring a new model to keep itself financially viable—renting out art.
Governor's Island, New York. via geocities.com
Art comes to a TV near you, keeping an eye on Chicago, porcelain bandits, and a 40,000 year old painting were among the week’s headlines.
THE REAL WORLD: REALITY TV, LEHMAN’S FIRE SALE, AND THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE’S INGENUITY
Reality hits (your TIVO) this week, when “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist,” an American Idol for the painterly set, debuts on Bravo. But there’s no way Bravo can match the reality Lehman Brothers gave us all a year and a half ago, and now, the bankrupt financier must sell their art collection to pay off debts. Among the 447 name brands expected to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in September are Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Maya Lin, Claes Oldenburg, Julie Mehretu, and Robert Rauschenberg. The new Athens World Fine Art Fair recently announced that its country’s own financial woes have led to plans for a postponed opening, from November 2010 to May 2011. Meanwhile, The Chicago Tribune gets creative with their extensive photo collection dating back to the 19th century. The newspaper has begun digitizing its photo archives and selling them to collectors as fine art prints. Artists and musicians band together to protest Arizona’s new “show your papers” statute, including photographer and performance artist Harry Gamboa Jr., who is distributing a “Boycott Hate State” graphic for free via his website. And sculptor Louise Bourgeois, noted for her sexually charged spider imagery, died in Manhattan at age 98.
Keep reading at ArtWeLove.com.
MOCA’s Dennis Hopper retrospective becomes a memorial, Kate Moss’s stolen Banksy, and Rome’s first Modern Art museum were among the week’s headlines. Keep reading at ArtWeLove.
Bob Carlos Clarke
BEHAVING BADLY: ART HEIST, ANTIQUITIES RUMBLE, AND CENSORSHIP
In one of the largest art heists in decades, five paintings worth over $100 million were stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art last week. A lone thief was captured via surveillance, sliding works from their frames and climbing out a window with a Picasso, a Matisse, a Braque, a Modigliani, and a Leger. Meanwhile, the Greek Police recovered a pair of 2,500-year-old marble statues and arrested two farmers who allegedly planned to sell the pieces overseas for $12 million. Keep reading at ArtWeLove.com.
Italian researchers say they are but a ghostly whisper from identifying the 400-year-old bones of Caravaggio—just two more weeks and they should have the results of DNA tests. If they’ve found the bones, they might be able to determine the circumstances surrounding the artist’s untimely death. An exhibit of art and crafts made by Japanese detainees in World War II internment camps is showcased at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. Many of these works, some of which are by Isamu Noguchi and Henry Sugimoto, have never been publicly displayed before. At Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum, a gaggle of geese and goslings gave the Van Goghs a passing glance on their shortcut to the pond—through the museum lobby! A statement made by the new Supreme Court nominee a couple decades ago has concerned parties wondering if Elena Kagan has already ruled against art, and Lou Reed, former Velvet Underground frontman and photographer, was one of the curators of the third annual New York Photo Festival. Keep reading at ArtWeLove.com.