News and Reviews

Your Worldwide Museum News in 5 Little Bites…

1) You may or may not be aware that there are bombs over Israel right now, but the Tel Aviv Museum is very aware of the fact and has moved a portion of their collection to safety.

2) And, speaking of museums in war zones, here’s a sneak peek at the soon-to-reopen National Museum of Iraq.

3) Another reopening to look forward to, or in this case downward at, is the underground passageways beneath the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

4) Get a spot in line now, this is going to be one of the biggest shows of the year. The largest Salvador Dali retrospective in more than 30 years will make the Centre Pompidou the place to be when it opens this week in Paris.

5) And, finally, a little food for thought. Does the art world have a demographics problem?


Five Things

"Yves Saint Laurent: 'Mondrian' day dress (C.I.69.23)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)

1. If you thought you were the only one who thought “Denver? Really?” when you heard the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition would be popping up in the Mile High City, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Denver Post tackles “How the Denver Art Museum Got the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit.”

2. Over in Barcelona, the CaixaForum art gallery just opened a major Goya exhibition.

3. Thanks to “a shot-in-the-dark blog-post query, a little luck and a donor with a romantic streak” a 30-year mystery has been solved at Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library.

4. Art museums tend to dominate travel itineraries, but check out these 10 Best Non-Art Museums for your next trip.

5. Speaking of itineraries, Tired of London, Tired of Life recommends checking out the British Museum at twilight.


Museum Madness in Manhattan

So, MoMA is buying the beleaguered American Folk Art Museum’s building, the Met is moving into the Whitney, and if you only see one exhibit this summer, it should be McQueen.

Whew, say that ten times fast.


In the News…


There has been looting at Egypt’s Cairo Museum. I don’t care who is responsible for it, just stop. It’s wrong. On a related note, one author thinks the situation in Egypt is perfect example of why Zahi Hawass’ cries for repatriation don’t hold water.

The New York Times covers both sides of the pond, taking a peek at 100 Years of British Sculpture and checking out Tampa Bay’s revamped Dali Museum.

The Guardian found Lisbon’s burgeoning street art scene noteworthy.

Can you name the famous Van Gogh painting from these pie-chart color palates? Via Flavorwire.

Familiar with the Kentucky art scene? No? Well, now you can be.

Loving the Google Art Project.

The LA Times says the ball is Clough’s court after special Smithsonian Regents session.

Hmm. Montreal’s Museum of Possibilities.

News, The Digital Museum

Kids Say the Darndest Things

medieval times

Just because I haven’t been around for a while (almost two months!), doesn’t mean that there haven’t been interesting things happening in the museum world…

  • The art community finally, unanimously, agrees on something: they hate Bravo’s Work of Art.
  • James Franco continues his omnipresence. Holding his own gallery show in NYC and bringing General Hospital to L.A.’s MOCA.
  • The security system was “outfoxed” at Paris’ Musee d’Art Moderne, where theives stole five paintings worth millions, including a Picasso and a Matisse.
  • Protests over BP sponsorships have popped up at several museums: including Tate Britain.
  • Caravaggio’s bones may have been found.
  • The new owners of Polaroid donated 10,000 company artifacts to the MIT Museum. And Lady Gaga (the company’s new creative director) showed up to have her picture taken.

While all of these are cool/interesting happenings, there is one museum-related occurrence that really caught my eye. I find it so interesting, because even though it occurs outside of a museum’s walls, it is, at its heart, exactly what museums are about: visitors and their interaction with the collection. What is it? It is the new Overheard at AIC Twitter feed.

Some Art Institute of Chicago interns have gotten together to operate a Twitter account that posts random gems they overheard from museum visitors.  Some of these quotes include:

  • “The museum collects lots of interesting objects from around the world. What things do you collect.” A 6-year-old replies: “I collect money!”
  • Me: “This story took place during the Medieval time period, does anyone know about Medieval times?” 10-year-old girl: “I’ve been there!”
  • “Is this supposed to be amazing? Because this is NOT amazing.” -Boy to his mom during an AIC event.
  • “You know what artists make?” 1st grader: “Boobies!”
  • “If I could marry this museum, I would!” -2nd grader.

They have only been tweeting since June 30th, so I am interested to follow along and see how the account grows. And, between tweets, you can check out their blog for a more in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes intern experience.

What awesome things have you overheard people saying in museums?


Hello, Goodbye

Roundup of hirings, firings, openings and closings.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit welcomes Luis Croquer as their new permanent director.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles plans to cut 20% of their work force.

But their former director, Jeremy Strick, has found a new home at Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center.

McCormick Freedom Museum closing its doors and going mobile.

Bruce Boucher is the new director of the University of Virginia Art Museum.

Miroslaw Balka has been tapped as the next artist to exhibit at the Tate Modern in London.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust in need of some volunteers.

Museums everywhere cutting staff, budgets, and hours.

The people of Peoria will decide fate of Riverfront Museum.

He’s lovin’ it. Italy’s new culture czar once promoted the Golden Arches.

Brandeis University to close Rose Art Museum and sell off the collection.

Gulf Coast Museum of Art shuts its doors.

Chicago museums attendance down.

No job for you. Smithsonian institutes hiring freeze.

MPs suggest Buckingham Palace extend its hours.