Thursday, June 29, 2017

We all know about the rejoining-its-sister exception to being held in the public trust, right?

Katya Kazakina:  MoMA Sells Rare Masterpiece.

It's a nine-foot tall Leger mural, which was commissioned in 1938 by Nelson Rockefeller for his new apartment.  He also commissioned another mural by Matisse at the same time, which is now owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which was the buyer of the Leger (for in the neighborhood of $6 million).

So, because the two murals are being "reunited," obviously the Leger was no longer held by MoMA in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations.  And obviously potential future donors will not hear about this sale and ask, Why should I give this to you? What guarantee do I have that you're not going to sell this tomorrow?  Just check the fine print in your Deaccession Police manual, under "R" for reuniting companion works.

One other interesting thing about the sale reunification:  it was a private sale, at Art Basel, rather than, as is more typical when museums sell, at auction.  David Norman is quoted as saying "'sometimes museums also place works privately' with dealers if they have clients willing to pay higher prices."  My question is: how do you know the price the client is willing to pay is "higher" unless you put it up at auction?  How do we know there wasn't someone else out there willing to pay more than $6 million for the work?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"The bill comes with the blessing of more than 100 organizations, including some of the most prominent art schools in the country" (UPDATED)

Brian Boucher reports on the proposed American Arts Revival Act, which "would assist arts workers nationwide in paying down their student debt."  More from Jillian Steinhauer here. Paddy Johnson says: "I see no chance of this ever passing."

UPDATE:  Michael Rushton tweets:  "This is (1) inequitable across students carrying debt, and (2) creates all manner of moral hazard problems. If the state wants to support artists and arts presenters, do so directly. Stay away from narrowly focused, discriminatory, gimmicky aid."

"Collector sues Christie’s for cancelling David Hammons sale"

Dan Duray has the story in The Art Newspaper.

"The dispute dates to March 11 when five staff members sent a letter to the board accusing Mr. Dadone of misdirecting funds intended for educational programs, failing to deliver on programs promised to donors, violating labor laws and engaging in a pattern of abusive behavior toward subordinates."

NYT:  Mass Resignations Embroil Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

Awards for Fearless Girl!

For, er, advertising:

"Clark also cited the business results for State Street, including a 374 percent increase in the size of the so-called SHE fund—State Street’s SSGA Gender Diversity Index."

"Exhumation of Salvador Dalí’s Body Ordered in Paternity Case"

"Pilar Abel, a Tarot card reader, wants to be recognized as Dalí’s daughter, born as a result of what she has called a 'clandestine love affair' that her mother had with the painter in the late 1950s in Port Lligat, the fishing village where Dalí and his Russian-born wife, Gala, built a waterfront house."

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"In the cultivated Hamptons, this is a vile act of desecration against art.”

Larry Rivers's "Legs" sculpture in Sag Harbor was recently vandalized by red paint.  Page Six has the story here.

Coincidentally, the Center for Art Law is hosting a screening of a documentary on the piece ("Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town") on June 22, with a panel discussion, moderated by Adelaide Dunn (Advanced Topics in Art Law Class of 2016), to follow.  Register here.  An article by Dunn on the film is here.  Trailer here.  Facebook event page here.

Fake News

A show of (and on) fakes, at the Winterthur Museum.

Here's what can happen when you say a work is fake

Dealer Gerald Peters is "suing one of the world’s largest Western American art auctions, a Nevada gallery and others for defamation, accusing them of falsely claiming a $1 million painting he sold is a fake."

Art Basel Sues Adidas

Art Newspaper story here.

"The truck was parked outside his studio in Long Island City. The next day, when he went outside, the truck was missing."

"A sculpture made to debut in the Taubman Museum of Art’s atrium Thursday was stolen from outside the artist’s New York studio, museum officials said."

"I'm brave enough to call it a Jackson Pollock and put my entire reputation on it."

The Arizona Republic:  Painting pulled from Arizona garage may be a Jackson Pollock worth $10 million.

The Art Market Monitor says "the story seems plausible until you get to his experts. Peter Paul Biro came to prominence through his claims to have discovered Leonardo’s finger prints in the pigment of a painting."

For more on Biro, see here.