Tuesday, January 26, 2021

“To many of the people who run our museums—not art people but bean counters—art is merely branding for the institution.”

The Nation’s Barry Schwabsky on why the the National Gallery and three other museums should not “hide the Art of Philip Guston.”

Never mind that [Darren Walker, the head of the Ford Foundation] cannot distinguish between racist imagery and imagery depicting racists. The real tell is that in a statement he said that to mount the exhibition now would have been “tone deaf.” That’s the language of corporate image control. To many of the people who run our museums—not art people but bean counters—art is merely branding for the institution.


Applications for the spring 2021 Art & Law Program Now Being Accepted

APPLICATIONS FOR THE SPRING 2021 TERM ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED. The deadline for submitting your application to the Spring 2021 term is December 21, 2020. Application link via bio

Location, Dates, Times, Retreat

The Spring 2021 colloquium will take place on January 11, 2021 until April 12, 2021, each Monday night from 6pm EST to 9pm EST, and will be held via Zoom. Pending Covid-19 and travel restrictions, the Spring 2021 colloquium will conclude with a retreat where fellows will have a chance to come back to life and connect with Sergio as well as Program alumni and friends. At this time the retreat may take place in (a) Denniston Hill, (b) Marfa, Texas, (c) Austin, Texas, or (d) New York City.

Spring 2021 Topic

In the Spring 2021, the Program will primarily examine two concerns: (1) the effects of law on visual art, with a particular emphasis on the previous 20-years, and (2) the artist as corporation and the corporation as artist. We will question whether art is hindered or aided by the direct and indirect impact of law, legal discourse, and legal practice on art. In effect, we will discuss whether, and to what extent, artists should engage with the law, or, whether artists are better served by studying outlaw practices.

The colloquium will be led by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento.


At the last minute, Baltimore Museum of Art board votes to pause controversial artwork auction

Money talks; bullshit walks.


“If you work at Tate, you are expected to toe the party line…”

The Tate Museum suspends curator Mark Godfrey for publicly criticizing the Tate’s decision to postpone the Guston exhibition. Rob Storr fears the exhibition will never happen. How far to the left can one go before ending up on the right?


Baltimore Museum controversy heats up…

and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier for the Museum any time soon.

“Just over a year ago I quietly changed my estate plans when it became clear to me that under the leadership of Christopher Bedford the BMA was no longer trustworthy to receive this bequest,” said former trustee, Stiles Colwill, in an email.

I wonder: Is this move by the Baltimore the equivalent of some AOC progressive gaffe, where initially it seemed like a good idea to kill off “farting cows” in order to save the environment? I think so.


Baltimore Museum’s sale agreement with Sotheby’s is plagued with “irregularities and potential conflicts of interest”

[A] group of 23 museum supporters is calling on the government to investigate and put a stop to the planned deaccessioning.

In a strongly worded six-page letter to Maryland attorney general Brian Frosh and secretary of state John C. Wobensmith, signatories including former BMA board chairwoman Constance R. Caplan allege that the sale agreement with Sotheby’s is plagued with “irregularities and potential conflicts of interest” and should not be allowed to proceed.

More here.


Fire Sale

Yachts, planes, and blue chip art are up for grabs. Just not on Craigslist.


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