Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Not the Only One with a Catchy Name

When I first launched this blog and eventually my business, there were a few local and vocal art lovers who were not happy with the name. Cincinnati, like many cities, has a long history of snobbishness that is to some uncomfortably present in its art scene. Honestly, I was surprised by how many were offended, and failed to see "Cincinnati Art Snob" as a bit tongue in cheek.

Similarly, my Twitter account, @artsnob brought on some initial sneers, but I think many now like the name and enjoy being part of a sort of inside joke. I have over 1000 followers from around the world. Locally, the art snob joke seems to have caught on. Just recently I was made aware of another Twitterer from around Cincinnati, presumably a fellow art lover, who goes by the name of @Art_Slob.

Is this the latest local response to Cincinnati Art Snob? Perhaps. The rather cryptic tweets seem to directly respond to my blog posts. Yet the creativity of the name "Art Slob" deserves kudos. I do wish I would have thought of it as it may be more creative than the same old "Art Snob."


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Toledo Museum of Art Gets $2 Million Gift

The Toledo Museum of Art’s Interim Director Rod Bigelow announced today (May
20) that the Museum has received a $2 million lead gift to renovate its former glass gallery into a
signature gallery for the Museum’s growing modern and contemporary collections.
Perrysburg residents and long-time Museum supporters Frederic “Fritz” and Mary Wolfe made
the gift earlier this year to jumpstart construction on the gallery.

“The plan is to renovate the space into a modern and contemporary gallery that will showcase the Museum’s growing holdings in those areas and re-introduce the Toledo Museum of Art to the world as an institution with an important and compelling collection of contemporary works,” Bigelow said. The space underwent demolition in 2008. But fundraising plans were put on hold, Bigelow noted, when the economic downturn became front-page news.

“Fritz and Mary have stepped forward to say that they not only believe in the future of the
Toledo Museum of Art, they believe in the future of this region,” said Betsy Brady, Toledo Museum of Art Board chair. “We certainly hope others will follow their lead and continue to contribute toward a healthy future for the Museum.” To recognize their leadership and long-time service to the Toledo Museum of Art, the new gallery will be known as the Frederic and Mary Wolfe Gallery.

“We have always enjoyed and admired the Museum,” said Mary Wolfe. “We feel fortunate that
we are able to help with the development of this new gallery space.”

The East Wing currently houses the Museum’s Classic Court and Peristyle Theater, which will
not change, along with several small contemporary galleries and an African gallery. When construction is complete, the relocation of the modern and contemporary collections will free up space to move and expand the Asian collection from its current home in the West Wing. Objects
will be able to be grouped by region or country of origin in adjoining rooms, which should aid in
interpretation. In addition, the African collection will receive a new home with expanded space.

“This project will involve closing several galleries in the East Wing for a period of months,”
noted Bigelow. “A specific timeline has not been established, but the community will receive ample notice of any closings so everyone can visit their favorite works of art before they come off public view.”

Mary and Fritz Wolfe have been long-time friends and supporters of the Museum. Fritz Wolfe
served on the Museum board for 27 years, providing significant leadership to the investment review committee, among many other assignments. He retired from active board service at the end of 2009 and continues his involvement with the Museum as an honorary board member.
Mary has been equally involved, co-chairing the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration in
2001 and currently serving on the search committee for a new director. They know firsthand the important role the Toledo Museum of Art plays in the community.

“Nearly 80 percent of the Museum’s annual budget comes from donated dollars,” Bigelow said.
“It is truly a testament to our members and donors like Mary and Fritz Wolfe that the Toledo Museum of Art is so world-renowned for the expansiveness and quality of its collection.”


Monday, May 10, 2010

CAC Recycling Program

When the CAC recently unveiled their upcoming season, I noticed a re-running of a couple of this season's themes. In particular, "Where Do We Go From Here?" (hey, the CAC practically gift-wrapped this pun-fun title for me) and Keith Haring, 1978-1982. Both of these exhibitions are curated by Raphaela Platow and both address Pop Art, text in art, and art in urban landscapes. The CAC has spent the last year parading these same ideas in their run-up and still showing (probably at a gallery near you, too), Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand.

Is it not enough that the CAC has been forced to extend their shows much longer than average runs? But now it looks like Platow is busy threading the calendar with recycled material.

I do like Keith Haring and I devoted my academic career to Contemporary Latino Art, but I'm having nightmares (honestly) of a year of "art is everywhere" splash mob salsa dancing and murals done throughout the city on chalkboard paint.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cleveland Museum of Art Launches New Website

The CMA has launched their new website and I cannot stop visiting it. There are so many features, including an ability to personalize your profile. Presumably, this feature allows you to customize the website to your specific art interests. Because I've chosen all areas of interest (periods in art and the complete listing of programs), the website presents me a full spectrum of information. As an art lover, I'll never comprehend customizing one's profile for less information, so cannot see how this as a celebrated feature.

But there are a number of features on the new website that will keep me engaged for hours. Besides the ease with which to peruse the website, the online collection is easily a favorite. I recently learned the museum's goal to make every item in the museum collection available online. Cincinnati-based LUCRUM is currently working on the development of the online catalog. This will take some time yet, but right now you can already see the wonderful accessibility of the online collection. One exciting feature of the developing database is the inclusion of multiple views and details of many of the art works. This is especially noted with the sculptural works in the collection, but some of the paintings as well.

A second feature of the online collection includes the ability to make comments on any of the items in the collection. I've not yet seen more than a single comment, usually a description of the artwork, but similar to a blog feature, adding a comment to the collection is an exciting feature. I do see a potential for the online collection to continuously evolve through an online discussion of works from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

So please, take a look at it, create a profile and share your thoughts about art.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Just Sent "Nothing" to the Tate Modern

In response to the recent open call to submit "nothing" to the Tate Modern, I just sent the following:


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

William and Sarah Ross Soter Endowed Curator of Photography at Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art announces the establishment of the William and Sarah Ross Soter Endowed Curator of Photography. The first endowed position in CMA history, this pivotal gift builds upon the Soter and Ross families’ commitment to photography. The Soters’ pledge of $1.5 million to the Art Matters endowment and capital campaign enables the Museum to present special exhibitions of photography, support original scholarship related to the medium, and provide educational and other programs for generations to come. Catherine Evans has accepted the first William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography appointment.

At age thirteen, Sally Ross Soter began volunteering at the Columbus Museum of Art. She inherited her commitment to the Museum from her parents, Elizabeth M. and Richard M. Ross. Mrs. Ross is a long-time Museum Trustee and founding member of the Museum’s Women’s Board.

“The Columbus Museum of Art is important to me because it is the first place I ever volunteered,” said Mrs. Soter. “The hours I spent there have given me a tremendous connection with the Museum even though Bill and I now live in Florida.”

Mrs. Soter’s interest in photography was inspired by her father, an avid photographer and collector. His commitment to photography led to the naming of CMA’s Richard M. Ross Photography Center, a gallery dedicated to presenting photography exhibitions.

The Ross family has been a long-time supporter of CMA’s photography program. The family gave CMA its first significant body of photography holdings, created a foundation and direction for collecting work by twentieth-century photographers, and supported the Museum’s acquisition of the Photo League collection.

“Photography has long been a passion of ours. Bill and I are pleased and privileged to be able to give this gift to the Museum,” said Mrs. Soter. "This gift will ensure that the photography program continues to grow in scope and prominence. I hope it will also inspire others to follow their own passions, endowing other positions that resonate with them.”

Catherine Evans’s tenure as The William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography will begin in January 2011. Catherine joined CMA in 1996 as the Curator of Photography and since 2004, has also served as Chief Curator. She has curated more than 45 exhibitions, giving several artists their first one-person museum debuts. In 2001 she spearheaded the successful acquisition of the Photo League collection, the most significant photography acquisition in CMA’s history. The Museum is now nationally recognized for its comprehensive holdings in this period. She has directed the development of major international exhibitions and partnerships such as Renoir’s Women; Edgar Degas: the Last Landscape, which had a second venue in Copenhagen; and In Monet’s Garden: The Lure of Giverny, which had a second venue in Paris. She was the principal author and curator of the exhibition A View from Here: Recent Pictures from Central Europe and the American Midwest, which toured internationally and nationally. She has been a portfolio reviewer in Santa Fe, Houston, Portland, and Atlanta. Prior to the Columbus Museum of Art, Evans worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and before that, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, in New York and Montreal, Canada. She received her degree from Williams College in Art History and German Literature.

“I am greatly honored the Soters chose to ensure the sustainability of our institution through the endowment of a photography position at the Columbus Museum of Art,” said CMA Executive Director Nannette V. Maciejunes. “Catherine’s talent, passion, and knowledge have rightly earned her a national reputation that has, and will continue to, enhance the prominence of our photography collection.”

“This unprecedented gift affords me an incredible opportunity to devote my energies to growing the photography program,” said Catherine Evans. “I am honored to be part of this historic moment for the Columbus Museum of Art.”