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Henri Loyrette Takes Leave of the Louvre

Posted By Administration, Saturday, December 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

After 12 years at his post, Louvre Director wishes not to seek renewal of his mandate.


Henri Lorette brought a lot of life to Paris' grande damme, the Louvre. In his 12 years as Director Loyrette not only increased visitor figures but also took on major projects including a satellite museum in the north and the construction of new Islamic art galleries. The satellite museum in the northern town of Lens has been much awaited and has recently opened. It will will be home to the Louvres's encyclopedic collections. New Islamic galleries opened on two levels of the Louvres historic Visconti courtyard this past fall, and the achievement of Lorette should be celebrated for its forward thinking and symbolic cultural diplomacy. Lorette was also successful in rejuvenating a contemporary art program at the museum which resulted in a major installation by Anselm Kiefer in 2007 and ceiling mural by Cy Towombly in 2010.

The full story is available in the Art Newspaper

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Simply Phillips

Posted By Administration, Saturday, December 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

Phillips de Pury & Company Sees Departure of Simon de Pury


Recent news has revealed that this January the auction house Phillips de Pury & Company will be simply Phillips. After 12 years at his post, chairman Simon de Pury is taking leave. A Moscow-based investment firm bought the auction house in 2008, acquiring de Pury's interest in the company. De Pury takes leave confident that the company is "in an excellent position and has been going from strength to strength" (Gallerist NY).


More information in Gallerist NY

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Forbes Reports on the Rise of Fine Art Photography

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
Though photography's prices in comparison to other media lags its increased visibility in museum exhibitions has done much to give exposure and drive demand. Photography is increasingly being collected internationally and while some photographers, like Cindy Sherman and Andreas Gursky have moved into the description of "artist" from "photographer" most still remain with the latter label. Photography remains relatively easy to acquire- even for big names, but an ArtTactic survey published in early December revealed that "confidence in the modern and contemporary photography market is up by 9.2% since May, with the biggest increase in confidence at top end of the market, for photos priced over $100,000. Some 92% of experts surveyed thought that prices for modern photography are likely to rise in the next six months, while 34% thought that prices in contemporary photography would go up and 66% thought they would remain at current levels" (Cathryn Tully, Forbes).

Dedicated collectors may care more for the content of the work than its value, but monetary measurement is validation, and where the media itself is concerned this validation is important to history. Photography is no newcomer to the art world, and yet we have to ask if its disparate difference in value as compared to other media is starting to meet its end. Photography may be considered the oldest "new media;" is it now beginning to move into more traditional cannon where "investors" are concerned? Are we at a turning point in the media's history, and will it be recognized to be as weighty and valid an art form by all and not just some. True collectors know the answer to this is an inevitable yes; what this article touches on is that remaining rest are beginning to come around.

More on this story in Forbes

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473 Photographs Promised to SFMOMA

Posted By Administration, Saturday, December 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

Three separate collectors contribute


This past week SFMOMA announced promised gifts by three separate collectors. Jeffery Frankel Gallery, an aipad member gallery, the Kurenboh Collection in Tokyo, and one anonymous donor were the source of this exciting contribution to MOMA's holdings. Frankel Gallery donated 26 Diane Arbus images; the donation will double the museum's holdings of Arbus prints. The Kurenboh Collection in Tokyo's gift also increased an already notable collection of the museum- the largest collection of Japanese photography in the US, just grew by 350 prints. Other new acquisitions and promised gifts include works by Robert Adams, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Irving Penn and Garry Winogrand.

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A Question of Admission: Museum Entry

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

A Tale of Two Policies - Dallas Museum of Art & the Metropolitan


This week the Dallas Museum of Art announced a reward- based system for visitors. The entry to the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) will be free beginning in January 2013; the more visitors return to the museum the more perks they will gain access to. Special events and opportunities to interact with museum staff and exhibiting artist to be included as some perks for returning visitors. In many institutions events like these are often reserved for sliding scales of donor groups. These rewards are reserved for those who can and do suport financially. The philosophy now being adopted by DMA is one open to and receptive of the patronage of guests, and in review of the definition of patronage- the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another rewards the former descriptions of the term. True of the more traditional model that it is nice to be thanked for monetary donations- would opening the door to additional genuinely interested attendees detract from thanks? Would it potentially cultivate new donors? Could it attract new generations of makers and enthusiasts? DMA Director Maxwell Anderson commented on the policy: "Visitors literally bring life to the Dallas Museum of Art. Through a return to free general admission, we can open the doors of the museum and show appreciation to our visitors for the many ways their participation matters to the DMA. We believe that by increasing access to the museum and by finding new ways to say 'thank you,' we can fundamentally change the role museums play in a global society" (Art Forum).

This week too news regarding the entry to the Metropolitan was in the headlines. In a report by Philip Boroff of Businessweek came a story of a lawsuit over the Metropolitan's "recommended" entry fee. A clarity of entry requirements was requested by plaintiffs; though the museum's entry is free "recommended" entry, particularly in online ticket ordering, is being called unclear. Museum visitors too often have the impression that the $25 recommended entry fee is required. The issue was raised as it is in conflict with the leasing ageeement the museum has. In 1878 the museum, in exhange for no rent, agreed to free admission of visitors four days of the week. In later leases the requirement was modified to five days a week. A volunteer entry was instated in the early 1970's- anything large or small- was asked of patrons. In recent years, and again particularly with advanced online ticket purchases, visitors are charged the recommended fee. Plaintiffs in "the case have asked the court to order the museum to update all modify its signs and promotional materials to prevent viewers from being misled about the policy, specifically informing visitors that the museum is free of charge five days of the week. Plaintiffs have also requested that the museum reinstate its entrance fronting Central Park, which was removed in 1902" (Art Forum). The fact that the approach is tricky is clear; certainly with entry fees paying only about one quarter of the operations revenue the money is welcome if not needed.

While the two museums have very different operational and budget scenarios, and DMA has charged entry in the past, these two examples allude to the difficulties of the industry. Patronage and cultivation of interest in viewership have become distressing issues for the survival of major cultural institutions. What is most interesting about the two stories are the philosophies around their models of operation. In a time where government funding for the arts is waning what will save the institution? What will generate interest and save the cultural ship? These questions seem to have been raised more and more in recent years, and this weeks dual stories poignantly continue that dialogue.

For more information on both of these stories please visit (Art Forum).

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