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jerryking : curators   8

Opinion | How the Superrich Took Over the Museum World
Dec. 14, 2019 | The New York Times | by Michael Massing, the author, most recently, of “Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther and the Fight for the Western Mind.”

The wealthy have always influenced the art scene. But in recent years, in an age of mounting anger over income inequality, they've come to dominate it......
Of MoMA's 51 trustees who vote, 45 work in finance, the corporate world, real estate or law, or are the heirs or spouses of the superrich.....both MoMA and the Met expect wealthy newcomers to their board of trustees to donate millions of dollars as the price of membership..........Art has always depended on wealthy patrons; see the Medicis, Frick and Morgan. In contrast to Europe, where museums receive significant (though now decreasing) state funding, most American museums rely heavily on private donors. .............Many of MoMA’s trustees are devoted collectors of modern and contemporary art, and the museum has benefited accordingly....... with trustees funding or donating to the museum various artistic works.......Yet dependence on the kindness of billionaires comes at a price. Today’s museum world is steeply hierarchical, mirroring the inequality in society at large........MoMA's curators seem very well paid; people in more junior positions much less so........Among the biggest losers in the current system are artists themselves. With art now considered an asset class similar to equities and commodities, collectors are forever on the lookout for rising stars whose work can be bought at bargain prices and then resold for many multiples as their reputation soars. When the market moves on, careers are often shattered (except in the case of a few ever-in-demand stars)......And even those artists who do remain popular usually benefit only from the initial sale of their work; as its value appreciates, the profits go mainly to collectors and auction houses. Museum trustees have ready access to curators and gallery owners who can point out emerging artists whose work they can buy at an early stage and benefit as the demand for it grows.......the most serious concern raised about baronial boards is the possible constraints they place on what museums can exhibit......For example, Why is there not more art inspired by such urgent matters as income inequality, deindustrialization or the rise of populism. Or why was there not more art inspired by the impact of Wall Street on Main Street or the continuing fallout from the 2008 financial crisis — the root of so much unrest in the world today?...... trustees have no decision-making role in its exhibitions, which are determined solely by the museum’s “strong curatorial staff” in regular consultation with artists....Yet a board’s influence need not be overt to be profound; curators are no doubt savvy enough to know how far they can go in challenging a system of which their trustees are such pillars.....For the superwealthy, membership on museum boards brings many benefits, including an increase in social status, access to other powerful people and an enhancement of one’s image.
Is there an alternative to the current system?
An obvious one would be to substantially increase public funding for the arts in general, and museums in particular......In 2018, MoMA received a paltry $22,000 in government funds (from New York City), compared with the $136 million it got from private sources. In fact, MoMA does not seek or receive federal or state funding. But MoMA in fact gets substantial public support through the tax write-offs its wealthy donors receive as well as its own nonprofit status. The public is in effect subsidizing the museum without getting any corresponding say in its governance.
In return for nonprofit status, the government could require MoMA and other museums to allocate a certain portion of board spots to people whose lives are not devoted to making money. The presence of art critics, historians, architects and nonprofit leaders could force museums to consider a much broader array of viewpoints.....As for more direct public funding of museums, this might seem a long shot in modern-day America, but the current political moment has created new opportunities. If taxes on the rich were raised, which most Democratic presidential candidates support, more public funds could be earmarked for museums — and for libraries, performing arts centers and other cultural institutions. 
Accomplisher_Class  art  artists  asset_classes  boards_&_directors_&_governance  collectors  contemporary_art  cultural_institutions  culture  curators  high_net_worth  income_inequality  intellectual_diversity  Manhattan  moguls  MoMA  museums  New_York_City   overachievers   patronage  patrons  philanthropy  public_funding  subsidies  tax-deductible  The_One_Percent 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
How a Businesswoman Became a Voice for Art’s Black Models - The New York Times
By Melissa Smith
Dec. 26, 2018

Curator Denise Murrell focused on the works of 19th century [ ] Édouard Manet....
Revealing that maid’s identity became the foundation of Ms. Murrell’s doctoral dissertation, and the driving force behind her exhibition “Posing Modernity: The Black Model From Manet and Matisse to Today,” currently on view at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University.....“A person of color who is standing right there before you, and being ignored, is something that is part of the condition of being” part of the African diaspora to begin with. Art historians play a significant role in shaping our understanding of the past. It bothered her that their narratives would rewrite, subjugate or exclude the history of black people.......Ms. Murrell went on to reconsider Matisse’s use of black models in light of his trips to New York during the Harlem Renaissance, and circled back to the question that triggered her entanglement with art to begin with: How have contemporary black and nonblack artists reflected on these black figures in their work? “You can’t really understand African-American art and visual culture and artistic production without understanding a lot of what it is reacting to,”......Scholarship around black representation is growing, though gaps remain. And museums are increasingly addressing the full range of their communities, and the needs of a public more attuned to issues of race — approving exhibitions, like Ms. Murrell’s, that probe what blackness really means in the context of art history.....When Ms. Murrell ran into roadblocks, she found funders and strong-armed institutions for loans. Ms. Murrell said that while curators, art historians, gallery owners and others in the art community are sincere when they talk about diversity, they are also reluctant to dismantle established norms, including those that work against people of color. Larger institutions want to play it safe, and often refrain from funding unconventional scholarship. “There’s the concern that if you talk about race or any other kind of marginalized subject, how broad is the interest going to be?” Ms. Murrell said. Leaning on a mentorship model borrowed from her time in the corporate world, Ms. Murrell said she wants to create an incubator for minorities with new ideas.
African-Americans  art  art_history  blackness  curators  exclusion  exhibitions  marginalization  PhDs  artists  playing_it_safe  visual_culture  race  women 
december 2018 by jerryking
TED talks without the ego
August 14, 2017| Financial Times | Harriet Fitch Little.

Sincerely X is a new podcast from TED that leaves no space for grandstanding.
Here, speakers are anonymous. They deliver their talks in a studio with only Cohen, the host, as audience....Whatever the mind game at play, it may be time to ditch the adage that hard stories need a "human face" -- an anonymous voce can apparently do the same job, and better.....But ultimately, this podcast is distinguished by a seriousness that sometimes seems to elude speakers on the TED stage, for whom viral fame is so tantalizingly close at hand.....ideas worth spreading.
TED  conferences  anonymity  listening  podcasts  ideas  curators  intimacy  audio  seriousness 
august 2017 by jerryking
Pamela Joyner: collector of ‘Afropolitan abstraction’
SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 | FT| by Julie Belcove.

.....Joyner and Giuffrida are not merely acquisitive in the vein of so many collectors but are activist. “We think of ourselves as stewards of their careers,” Joyner says of their artists. “Our philanthropy is focused on getting works of the artists who we support into museums....Joyner and Guiffrida donate paintings to leading museums in the UK and the US. Joyner introduces those museum curators to talented-but-lesser-known artists for whom she advocates. She also organizes trips domestically and internationally (.e.g South Africa) for museum curators....Joyner and Guiffrida created an artist’s residency on their property in Sonoma, California, in 2014.....Artists return the loyalty and remark that Joyner and Guiffrida never ask for a discount....Joyner has made collecting — and sitting on boards — her primary occupation. “Now I have a strategy, I have a budget,” she says. “I run it like you’d expect an MBA to run it.”...“Race is a really bad lens through which to view art. I could make an argument that Zander Blom is far more African than I am.”....“I was really struck by these artists who were determined to create an aesthetic that was compelling to them, which was abstraction, and there were no rewards for that if you were an African-American artist at the time,” Joyner says. “The traditional art world expected African-American artists to create identifiably black subject matter. ....The daughter of two public school teachers, Joyner, 58, grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where she attended the prestigious University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and frequented the Art Institute of Chicago. A serious ballet dancer, Joyner took a year off from Dartmouth College to try to break into the professional ranks in New York. “What I discovered was, I was really average,” she says frankly. “That was a good thing to discover early. I decided at that juncture that I would become a patron of the arts.”

Patronage requires money, so Joyner went on to Harvard Business School, then a successful career in finance.....With 300 to 400 artworks by roughly 100 artists, among them contemporary masters Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Mark Bradford and Kara Walker, the collection is the subject of a new book, Four Generations: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art, written by a Who’s Who of top curators. In October 2017, a travelling exhibition of the collection’s highlights will open at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.
art  collectors  women  African-Americans  curators  Diaspora  artists  museums  philanthropy  marginalization  leadership  patronage  high_net_worth  benefactors  cultural_literacy  Afropolitan  activism  race  HBS  abstractions  books  stewardship  Pamela_Joyner  contemporary_art  champions 
october 2016 by jerryking
No Canadians need apply: the worrying trend in arts hiring - The Globe and Mail
KATE TAYLOR
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 05, 2016

What is worrying is the pattern: It suggests that Canadian cultural institutions are not nurturing their own talents.

If Canadian curators cannot aspire to eventually manage the museums where they work, or Canadian stage directors need never consider running Canada’s festivals, they will not give their institutions the best of themselves. They will either slump into the self-fulfilling prophecy of lower expectations or they will go abroad.

Of course, museum and festival management is, like many a business, an increasingly global game and these things do go through cycles – Anderson was rapidly replaced by one of his Canadian curators, Matthew Teitelbaum, a Torontonian who ran the AGO for 17 years before moving to the helm of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last year.

But the recent trend suggests that the boards of large Canadian institutions need to band together to discuss how they can better mentor and nurture potential leaders.

Perhaps they should also take a careful look at the assumptions they are making in their hiring processes. These big appointments are often trumpeted with announcements that stress the long, complicated and, most of all, international searches that have been undertaken to find candidates. That may actually be part of the problem: the increasing use of headhunters to fill these jobs. Executive-recruitment agencies charging large fees to conduct searches deep into the United States or over to Europe are unlikely to conclude that the best person for the job is sitting down the hall or across the street from the incumbent.
cultural_institutions  CEOs  hiring  glass_ceilings  Canadian  museums  galleries  arts  festivals  boards_&_directors_&_governance  home_grown  mentoring  institutional_memory  executive_search  succession  leadership  curators 
august 2016 by jerryking
Luvo Ntezo, South Africa's Rising Wine Star | The Shift - WSJ.com
January 17, 2013 |WSJ| By TOM DOWNEY.

South Africa's Sommelier
Eight years ago, Luvo Ntezo was working as a dishwasher. Now, as Cape Town's most trusted authority on wine, he's a symbol of the country's distinctive postapartheid viniculture...Ntezo's story isn't just inspiring—it also offers insight into a remarkable development in South Africa's viniculture. During apartheid, boycotts targeting the country's racist policies had isolated its wine-making industry from the rest of the world, which meant that modern cultivation techniques, foreign varietals and rich export markets were all effectively off-limits. In the postapartheid era, the wine market has broadened and expanded—importing vines and growing methods— radically improving the wine made there.

Even so, Ntezo has to introduce wine to drinkers who may know little or nothing about Bordeaux, Riesling or Pinot Noir. His approach is simple: Wine can't just be about taste, color and mouth feel. It must also tell a story. "When I serve Grangehurst's Nikela, of course I want people to notice the blend of grapes," says Ntezo. "But I also tell them that Nikela means 'tribute' in the Xhosa language, that winemaker Jeremy Walker created this wine as a memorial to his parents and that he bottled his first batch of Grangehurst on their former squash court in Stellenbosch. That's something they'll always remember and associate with the wine." It's sommelier as storyteller, a role for which Ntezo is well suited as he confidently looks down over his spectacles at customers more than twice his age.
wines  South_Africa  Cape_Town  storytelling  curators  Stellenbosch  sommeliers  viniculture 
january 2013 by jerryking
'Treasures' Without Maps: African Art Purely as Art - WSJ.com
MARCH 3, 2005| WSJ | By MATTHEW GUREWITSCH . "Treasures" is
announced as the first in a series of bi- or triennial exhibitions given
in honour of the silver anniversary of the National Museum of African
Art as a constituent of the Smithsonian Institution. It will focus on
traditional sub-Saharan African art not as ethnological material but
frankly, unapologetically, as art. To drive home the point, labels have
been kept minimal. They offer no interpretive assistance, and are
frequently vague or silent even as to the date of a work's creation.
There is no map.

"What does a map tell you?" asks Sharon F. Patton, the curator of the
show, two years into her tenure as the fourth director in the history of
the museum. "What does the place it came from have to do with an
appreciation of the work?" How true. Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso,
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Angola...the
mystique of the names is powerful. But mystique, for most of us, is all
it is.
African  art  exhibitions  museums  curators  mapping  sub-Saharan_Africa  Africa  provenance  Smithsonian  mystique  interpretative 
august 2011 by jerryking

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