Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Deaccessioning Could Bring Loss of Accreditation

The Chicago Tribune has a story on the consequences (and costs) to the University of Iowa if it does deaccession Pollock’s Mural.

The university presented documents to the Regents on Friday assessing the costs and benefits of selling “Mural.” The biggest potential cost to the university: loss of accreditation.


Museums and the Financial Crisis (Update # 8)

In what can be seen as an omen of what is still to come, three stories this weekend sum up how the financial crisis will affect the so-called “art world.” From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

When Seattle Art Museum Director Mimi Gates announced her retirement in June, she was credited with striking an agreement with Washington Mutual whereby SAM was able to afford its 2007 expansion by sharing real estate with WaMu. What a difference a year makes. If SAM and WaMu are joined at the hip, can SAM flourish as WaMu falters? Museum spokeswoman Nicole Griffin says yes. “Everything is in transition,” she said, “but we feel confident in the provisions of the lease agreement.”

We’ll see about that. In today’s NY Times, Edward Wyatt reports that the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LACMA) has received a $45 million cash gift for a Renzo Piano pavilion and $10 million worth of artworks from Lynda and Stewart Resnick. This is good news, the bad news:

Cultural institutions have been left wondering in recent weeks what will become of some of their largest financing sources as a national economic crisis unfolds. Four prominent financial institutions that were significant contributors to museums and arts programs — Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual — have shut down, been acquired or seized by regulators.

Maybe LACMA can deaccession some of its collection. Speaking of deaccessioning, the Washington Post reported on Friday that:

The Corcoran Gallery of Art plans to sell 10 paintings from its permanent collection at a public auction in December as a first step toward refining the museum’s focus and providing funds for purchasing future works.

More on the Corcoran deaccessioning on Clancco’s Deaccessioning Blog.

UPDATE 8: Oct. 15, 2008. Two good articles on this topic in today’s Art Newspaper. Josh Baer writes:

Speculation in young artists is over, and the smaller dealers will be hurt the most. …The theory: speculation in art (and young art) is over. When several guaranteed Rudolf Stingel works failed to sell at auction last winter, it signalled the end of a certain kind of buying of art. It wasn’t just the sub-prime crisis–it was a signal of something far more important.

One (possible) good thing coming out of this financial mess:

Perhaps a return to the importance of museums, critics and alternative spaces for validation and the introduction of new art.

Lindsay Pollack on the bright side of the financial crisis:

“The crisis is quite good for dealers as it means we are being offered high quality paintings which we can sell by private treaty,” says New York private dealer Nick Maclean. “If the market slides, people are afraid to put things out there into a free market where there’s a fear the money won’t be there to prop it up,” adds New York art advisor Todd Levin. “The last thing people want to do is to watch it flame out in a public fashion.”

On the flip side:

[O]bservers of the art market see reason for worry, suggesting the swollen pool of art buyers is bound to thin as quickly as bankers’ bonuses. “Collecting is an exciting diversion for people who are enlarging their personas,” says William Goetzmann, director of the International Center for Finance at Yale’s School of Management and former director of the Denver Museum of Western Art “But when you have a crisis that forces them to spend more attention and focus on the business problems at hand, it’s a question whether they are going to maintain that level of excitement for works of art.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Chapman Kelley Loses VARA Lawsuit

Another bad VARA ruling for artists. Donn Zaretsky gives us a clear and precise argument as to why the district court went off the rails on this one.

Read Donn’s argument here.


Art Collector to Sue Sotheby’s

From today’s NY Times:

In a brief filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco on Wednesday, Halsey Minor…, an entrepreneur and the founder of the technology news Web site, was among a group of plaintiffs accusing Sotheby’s of failing to disclose its financial stake in paintings it was selling.


Museum of Fakes

From the BBC:

A 60-year-old South Korean man ran a private museum stuffed with fakes, police said as they arrested him. The man collected 530 million won ($443,000) from people who thought the objects on display were ancient treasures, AFP news agency reported….The museum was set up in August 2004 and has attracted more than 130,000 visitors, police said. Police told AFP that 153 of the 184 artefacts on display at the museum in Gongju, about 160km (100 miles) south of the capital, Seoul, were fakes.


Turkish Court Acquits British Artist

Score one for Turkey. From last week’s Guardian:

A British artist walked free yesterday after being cleared of insulting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, by portraying him as a dog in a case seen as a test of Turkey’s tolerance of free speech. A Turkish court acquitted Michael Dickinson of criminal charges despite citing “some insulting elements” in his depiction of Erdogan as a dog attached to a leash in the colours of the US flag. But the court ruled that the artwork was “within the limits of criticism”.


Photographer Sues Over Missing Marilyn Monroe Pics

From the CBC:

Celebrity and fashion photographer Bert Stern has filed a lawsuit over seven missing photographs from his famed “last sitting” shoot with Marilyn Monroe shortly before her death. The iconic series, shot for Vogue magazine in July 1962, depicts the Hollywood icon nude aside from some jewelry, posing behind a series of translucent scarves and lying among rumpled white bed linens. …Stern’s suit calls for the return of the photos and at least $1 million US in damages and legal fees.


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