It has begun. The first 13 of the 40 works marked for deaccession by the Berkshire Museum have been sold. George Lucas has bought Norman Rockwell’s “Shuffleton’s Barbershop” (1950) for his new museum and a baker’s dozen more were sent to the block earlier this month at Sotheby’s spring sales. These were the first works sold at auction following the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, museum’s settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. In February, Healey approved the sale designed to pad the museum’s endowment and radically reshape its mission, capping the spoils at a maximum of $55 million. The agreement, which to critics is a bit of a farce itself, has turned the sale into a three-act melodrama. The art is to be disposed of in three separate groups or “tranches,” until the total dollar amount is achieved. Tranche is a banking term derived from the Old French word for “slice”; the settlement, Healey’s office insists, was the best half-a-loaf compromise existing law allowed to mitigate the sell-off. Watching the auctions over the past two weeks, it felt more like death by a thousand cuts.
By Kaywin Feldman. From apollo-magazine.com. Posted on 5/28/18.
Art museums are intensely political organisations – political with a small ‘p’. Art is political because it is an expression of lived human experience; identity, love, sex, religion, death, home, happiness, and trauma have always been subjects for artists. A concerned trustee at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), where I am the director, recently asked me if we would ever be the focus of protest. I assured him that we would, and urged him to walk around the galleries if he wanted to find offence. We have it all on our walls: imperialism, colonialism, war, oppression, discrimination, slavery, misogyny, rape, and more. Artists reflect our beautiful and horrific world back to us. As Walter Benjamin wrote, in ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’ (1940), ‘There is no document of civilisation which is not at the same time a document of barbarism’.
Our audiences are anxious, too. The recent Culture Track study by the cultural strategy firm LaPlaca Cohen pointed out that the third most common motivation for a visit to a cultural institution in America is to ‘decrease stress’. Stress relief won out over other motivations such as ‘giving life a deeper meaning’ and ‘feeling inspired’. The study also identified that millennials are the most stressed of our visitors; not even the young get a break on anxiety.
I don’t often use military vocabulary to describe my world, but the acronym VUCA is one that I have endorsed and adopted. After the end of the Cold War, the US Army War College described the new context in which the world operates in terms of four distinct challenges:
Museum Directors’ Association to Impose Sanctions on the Berkshire Museum and La Salle University Art Museum
By Eileen Kinsella. From news.artnet.com. Posted on 5/25/18.
The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) said in a statement today that the move “follows the decision made by each institution to use the proceeds from recent art sales to support operating budgets or expansion initiatives, a decision that violates one of the core principles of art museums. These actions are in opposition to AAMD’s policy that such funds must be used only to support acquisitions of art.”
The last time the AAMD voted for such sanctions was against the Delaware Museum of Art in June 2014. Those sanctions, as of today, remain in effect.
Neither representatives for the Berkshire Museum nor La Salle University Art Museum immediately responded to request for comment.
By Andrea Vaughan. From cuberis.com. Posted on 8/23/16.
Do you find the constant news updates about the latest tech innovations exciting but overwhelming? Do you want to use digital media to engage your audience, but can’t find an affordable option for your small or medium-sized museum?
We all use our devices to digitally connect with people and organizations. When it comes to museum visitors, many are already online, and there’s no reason why your museum can’t meet them there. It’s okay if your museum doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to spend building the next great app or virtual reality experience. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways for you to engage your audiences through their devices. We searched the Internet to create the following list of affordable solutions for you to pick from for your next digital initiative.
From cuberis.com. Posted on 10/27/17.
What Does A Content Strategy Produce?
Let’s begin our sample content strategy by reminding ourselves of its end product. The final product of a content strategy is the creation of enriched digital stories that illuminate objects or exhibits from your collections. By enriched digital stories we’re talking about curated, annotated, rich-media presentations, digital resources that further the museum’s mission to extend the reach and impact of its collection. Take a moment to review some of these examples of enriched digital stories.
From artdaily.com. Posted on 5/16/18.
LONDON.- Donnelly’s Hollow by the Irish artist Jack B. Yeats leads Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art Sale in London on Wednesday 13 June. It is estimated at £300,000-500,000 (€340,000-570,000).
The large work (36x24 inches) depicts the natural amphitheatre at the Curragh in County Kildare where, in 1815, the Irish boxer Dan Donnelly defeated the English champion, George Cooper. The victory assumed lasting political significance in Ireland as a symbol of resistance to the British occupation, and a commemorative monument was erected at the site of the bout.
Donnelly was famous for the extent of his reach – he had unusually long arms - and for the ferocity of his punch which was delivered with bare knuckles (boxing gloves only became compulsory in 1867). He was, however, as wild out of the ring as in it. His prodigal lifestyle finally caught up with him, and he died penniless in 1820 at the age of 32. For many years, his right arm was displayed in a pub in Kilcullen.
By Coco Fusco. From hyperallergic.com. Posted on 5/8/18.
It has been argued in The New York Times that Raul Castro is a reformer who made the expansion of independent businesses in Cuba possible. The recent explosion of bed and breakfasts, beauty parlors, and repair shops run out of private homes is widely welcomed as a sign of positive change. While the Trump administration attempts to reverse Obama’s Cuba policies and curtail profits from tourism that flow to the Cuban state, it has spoken favorably about the country’s burgeoning private sector. The country’s new president, Miguel Diaz Canel, has been cast as a liberal who has a Facebook account, rides a bike and supports gays in his home province of Villa Clara. Prior to taking office he gave no hint of wanting to reverse the alleged reformist trend.
How then, do we explain why a small band of Cuban creatives that launched an alternative biennial so that artists across Havana could open their homes to the public would be subject to a full on attack by their government? The organizers of the #00Bienal de la Habana — artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara and curator Yanelys Nuñez Leyva — decided to put together their event after the state-sponsored biennial was postponed due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. They felt that artists needed an outlet and that the citizenry could benefit from an injection of creative energy. They raised money for their project through crowd funding and deftly used social media to promote their venture, posting catchy videos and even a theme song. They encountered resistance from Cuban authorities but decided to forge ahead nonetheless.
From theglobeandmail.com. Posted on 5/11/18.
A private philanthropist has saved the National Gallery of Canada from the potential embarrassment of dipping into public funds to pay the fee for calling off the sale of a Chagall painting, a decision the gallery made after weeks of public outcry and a fight with Quebec.
The National Gallery announced on Thursday it will not pay a penalty itself for withdrawing the 1929 work The Eiffel Tower from auction, the proceeds of which it had planned to use to buy a Jacques-Louis David painting from a Quebec church. The gallery said an unidentified donor had agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to Christie’s auction house to release the work.
A source who has been briefed on the matter said the benefactor was Michael Audain, a high-profile B.C. real estate developer and well-known patron of the arts.
“I’m glad it’s been resolved, but I can’t say anything about the matter,” Mr. Audain, 80, said in a brief interview on Thursday.
By Chao Guo and Gregory D. Saxton. From nonprofitquarterly.org. Posted on 5/17/18.
Like it or not, social media has become an indispensable part of our lives. Fifteen years ago, many nonprofits were still hesitant to launch an organizational website on the Internet; today, we rarely come across a nonprofit that does not have a Facebook page or Twitter account. As more and more nonprofits are rushing into social media, their leaders often overlook one question: “What’s in it for me?” One of the obvious benefits of social media is that it has engendered new forms of communication and stakeholder engagement for nonprofit organizations. Now we propose something that is not so obvious but crucially important: it has engendered a new, novel, and highly valuable resource—social media capital.
Social media capital is a special form of social capital that is accumulated through an organization’s social media network. Nonprofits can look at it as being the key immediate outcome derived from their social media efforts, and it is a resource that can be converted or expended, like other resources, toward strategic organizational outcomes. To illustrate why and how social media capital is the linchpin of social media’s return on investment, we present a logic model for nonprofit organizations currently using, or planning to use, social media. Unless nonprofits understand the critical role of social media capital within this logic model—based on a plan that is well organized around strategic outcomes—then their social media efforts may essentially come to far less than might have been possible.
From NPR. By Andrew Limbong. Posted on 5/19/18.
A piece by the artist Kerry James Marshall was auctioned off this week and became the highest selling piece by a living black artist. "Past Times," which is part painting and part collage, features black people relaxing, boating, playing croquet along a river.
Also in that auction were works by Andy Warhol and Franz Kline — they were being sold by the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is planning to use the money from the sales to acquire more pieces specifically by women and artists of color (and maybe their own version of a Kerry James Marshall.)
Bidding among the well-dressed crowd at Sotheby's auction house in New York started at over $2 million dollars for the Warhol. Called "Oxidation Painting," it's a rust colored splatter work made out of paint and urine.
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