Museums News

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Museums News
Museums News6 days ago
In a world first, Rotterdam’s Boijmans Van Beuningen museum has put its entire collection on display in a mammoth new warehouse. As the V&A considers a similar experiment, is this ‘open storage’ model the future?
Rotterdammers are used to high-concept architecture, but what makes this building unusual is its function: it’s a warehouse. Designed by the Dutch firm MVRDV and known as the Depot, it has been created for one of the most well-regarded art museums in the Netherlands, the Boijmans Van Beuningen. When the Guardian visited in mid-September, contractors were installing vitrines and polishing concrete floors; in December, art handlers will begin moving in the museum’s collection of Rembrandts, Boschs, Magrittes and Dalís – some 150,000 objects. It will open fully late next year.
Museums have dabbled with open or visible storage for decades. New York’s Metropolitan made some of its research collections available in the late 1980s, while the V&A’s 2009–10 ceramics galleries put some 26,000 objects on display in tall, tightly crammed glass cabinets. But the museum's director reckons this is the first time that anyone has built an open-storage facility to house an entire museum collection; opening up marks a powerful shift in how museums see their role, particularly as they emerge from lockdown and re-evaluate their place in the world. Pushing backstage processes and personnel into the limelight is part of it (perhaps the easy part); institutions also need to be open about uncomfortable issues such as funding and ethics, staff diversity, curation and collecting policies, the provenance of disputed or colonial-era objects.
Source: The Guardian
Museums News
Museums News2 weeks ago
Royal Academy's cruel dilemma: sell a Michelangelo or lose 150 jobs. The cash-strapped London gallery is to debate the sale of a Renaissance masterpiece that could fetch more than £100m.
When the British artist John Constable first saw Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece, known as the Taddei Tondo, in the Royal Academy, he said it was “one of the most beautiful works of art in existence”. The 515-year-old sculpture had been given to the London gallery in 1829 following the death of its owner, Lady Margaret Beaumont, as an inspiration to students in the academy’s schools.

The Royal Academy, like all arts institutions, was already financially squeezed before Covid but has seen its finances take a further battering and is considering drastic redundancies. And now a group of angry Royal Academicians is this week expected to argue that instead of cutting jobs, the institution should consider selling the tondo.
“The sale of the tondo has already been discussed,” one anonymous well-known Royal Academician told the Observer this weekend. “It is worth so much, it could save jobs and get the RA out of the financial mess they have got themselves into.”

The sculpture’s exact value is not known, but in 2017 the Art Newspaper suggested it would fetch well over £100m if it were to be sold.

Constable, like many after him, regarded the hugely valuable piece as a crowning glory, and it remains the only sculpture in the country made by the Italian artist Michelangelo.

Taddei Tondo is the nickname for the unfinished work – properly titled The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John – which was commissioned by the wealthy cloth merchant Taddeo Taddei. The Renaissance term tondo refers to its circular shape, and it is believed it was sculpted at the beginning of the 16th century, during the artist’s first stay in Florence.

Those at the RA who support such an audacious rescue bid have called for a special meeting, but have met with resistance from their president, Rebecca Salter, and from the executive, which, along with many other academicians, is “horrified” by the idea of selling something so famous.

A spokeswoman for the RA said this weekend that the institution “has no intention of selling any works in its collection. We have the privilege and responsibility of being custodians of extraordinary works of art. “It is our duty to look after our permanent collection, for current and future generations to enjoy.

Source: The Guardian
Museums News
Museums News2 weeks ago
Banksy loses copyright to 'Flower Thrower' West Bank artwork after refusing to reveal identity to the EU's Intellectual Property Office judges. The anonymous artist spent two years battling card company Full Colour Black in the courts over the copyright to "Flower Thrower". Banksy painted "Flower Thrower" on the walls of the West Bank in Jerusalem.
However, in a move that could set a precedent for his other artworks, judges ruled he can not claim an EU trademark for the piece because "he cannot be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works as his identity is hidden", the MailOnline reported.

Banksy had previously claimed that "copyright was for losers", and in his 2006 book "Wall and Peace" had made his artwork freely downloadable, promising to never commercialise his works. Last October he set up a shop to sell his artwork in Croydon and claimed the sole purpose of the venture was to "fulfil his trademark obligations".

The judges said his intention to "circumnavigate the law" rather than commercialise his goods was in bad faith.
The panel of judges, part of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, said: "Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and for the most part to paint graffiti on other people's property without their permission rather than to paint it on canvases or his own property. "He has also chosen to be very vocal regarding his disdain for intellectual property rights.
"It must be pointed out that another factor worthy of consideration is that he cannot be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works as his identity is hidden; it further cannot be established without question that the artist holds any copyrights to graffiti."
Source: The Evening Standard
Museums News
Museums News3 weeks ago
Wassily Kandinsky interprets dancer Gret Palucca's form. Berlin, 1926.
In 1926, mid-way through the lifespan of Bauhaus, Kandinsky published two works concerning his theories on form: Dance Curves and Point and Line to Plane.
Dance Curves is an essay accompanied by abstract drawings referencing four images of German performer, Gret Palucca, who was an early pioneer of modern dance. All four images referenced were by photographed by Charlotte Rudolph, a prominent German dance photographer during that time.
Being an inter-disciplinary school, Bauhaus often collaborated with, and studied modern dancers. In Dance Curves, Kandinsky wrote that his drawings illustrate the "simplicity of the whole form" in Palucca's movements as well as the "construction of the large form” where the structure of Palucca's movements are based on the simplistic forms in his reductive drawings.
Concerned with minimizing subject matter, Bauhaus emphasized compositions of pure lines, blocks of color, and geometric shapes. Kandinsky's personal application of this approach explored shape, form, and structure. From this school of thought, Kandinsky also developed his own color theory, which tied in to his elemental theories of design.
Museums News
Museums News3 weeks ago
The Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ exhibition will feature Tim Burton and Disney originals. The anticipated exhibition has been pushed back to 2021.
This trip down the rabbit hole was set to be one of the highlights of the summer in London. The V&A’s highly anticipated ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ exhibition was due to welcome fans in June – but for obvious reasons, its opening was delayed. The immersive show is now slated for the end of March next year.
Designed by the award-winning Tom Piper, creator of the Tower of London’s poppies installation, ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ will chart our continued devotion to all things Alice over the past 157 years.
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Museums News
Museums News4 weeks ago
The Museum of Us has suggested a new way of rethinking how we steward cultural resources, develop exhibits, and involve the community in our work.
What do you think?