Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Still in the Public Trust

ARTnews:  Lucas Museum to Begin Loan of ‘Shuffleton’s Barbershop’—Painting at Center of Berkshire Museum Firestorm—to Norman Rockwell Museum in June.

The loan runs until 2020.

It's so, so awful that this painting went from that one museum to this other museum down the road and then will go to another, new museum.  That's such a totally unethical situation.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Found One

I've mentioned a couple times that, so far as I was aware, no member of the Deaccession Police had had anything negative to say about the Baltimore Museum deaccessioning (to the point that I had to post my own tongue-in-cheek version of a response).

But according to this Hyperallergic post, there was one:

"Tyler Green, the producer and host of the Modern Art Notes Podcast, tweeted his concern that the BMA was not following AAM guidelines regarding deaccessioning, writing: 'It’s by a man, so we’ll sell it even tho it’s a great artwork.'  A subsequent tweet read: 'I’d like to know where in AAM’s guidelines it says that deaccessioning motivated by gender is a best or even sanctioned practice.'"

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Monday, May 07, 2018

Are dealers about to be regulated?

Eileen Kinsella reports that they might be.

Tim Schneider has some concerns:

"To be perfectly honest, I’m not that worried about whether the richest sellers have to implement some annoying bureaucratic compliance measures. For one thing, they have the resources. ... More importantly, they’re also the sellers that could realistically be used in money laundering schemes.  Neither of the above is true for most galleries and dealers. They are already stretched too thin from a staff and expenses standpoint .... Having to bolt on a heavy, federally approved monitoring arm could tip some of these struggling small businesses over into the abyss."

This is something some people have been calling for for a long time.

Guilty Plea in Chowaiki Case

One count of wire fraud.  "The prosecution and defense have agreed to ask the judge for a sentence of between four years and three months and five years and three months, which is what sentencing guidelines recommend."

The Art Market Monitor says the case "may continue to have consequences as the details and market histories of [the works involved] are better understood."

Background here.

"Collector Sues Sotheby’s to Block Basquiat Auction, Exposing Ugly Family Dispute" (UPDATED)

New York Times story here.

UPDATE:  Dismissed.

"Aspen judge issues arrest warrant for suspect in 2017 art slashing"

He's the owner of the painting's son.

"Never wear synthetic fibers while making a forgery."

Advice from Jamie Martin, profiled in the New York Times here.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

A Highly Ethical Post

Since the Deaccession Police all seem to be on vacation or busy at the art fairs, I thought I would do them a favor and make the case against the Baltimore Museum's planned deaccessioning:

The museum's decision fails to consider the essential point of museum collections: once an object falls under the aegis of a museum, it is held in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations.  And the public’s trust is the coin of the realm for museums.  It's also common sense.  You don't cut out the heart to cure the patient.  The director seems not to have understood his broader responsibility to care for all of the museum's assets.  Instead of selling these works, the museum should have embraced furious fundraising.  The sale also sends a terrible message to potential donors:  why wouldn't somebody say, "Why should I give this to you? What guarantee do I have that you're not going to sell this tomorrow?"

Also keep in mind that the museum's permanent collection belongs to all of us. The public has paid for these works through the tax deductions given to private donors. And those donors bestow such works on the public expecting them to be valued for their aesthetic, not financial worth. If a museum doesn’t regard a particular gift as worthy of display or study, it shouldn’t accept the gift in the first place.

There you have it.  Where do I pick up my badge?