Category: Museums

Apparently stolen photos part of London digital art exhibit

April 13, 2012 |  8:15 am

The term “art thief” has taken on new meaning.

A pair of artists has turned 10,000 private photos they say they stole from 100 hard drives into a public slideshow. The exhibit, on display at London's Carroll/Fletcher gallery, also features intentionally tattered works by Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons.  

Curator Barbara Rodriguez Munoz told the Associated Press that the show is meant to question public versus private, as well as what falls under the "art" umbrella.

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Police seize stolen Paul Cezanne masterpiece

April 13, 2012 |  7:18 am

Serbian police have recovered a masterpiece by French impressionist Paul Cezanne. 

The Associated Press reports that the painting, "The Boy in the Red Vest," was stolen from a private Swiss museum in 2008, along with three other paintings by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas.

Zurich prosecutors said three men were arrested in Belgrade in connection with the robbery.

Cezanne's painting was worth 100 million Swiss francs (about $107 million), when it was taken from the EG Buhrle Collection.

Monet's "Poppy Field at Vetheuil" and Van Gogh's "Blooming Chestnut Branches" were found undamaged in a car parked at a mental hospital shortly after the heist.

The fourth, Degas’ "Ludovic Lepic and His Daughter,” has not been recovered. The masterpiece is worth 10 million francs ($11 million).


Violinist Joshua Bell's hotel room in Spain is burglarized

Art thief gets 1 to 3 years in prison in New York

Paris art theft suspect says he threw paintings in garbage bin

-- Jamie Wetherbe

Photo: Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic talks to reporters as Serbian policemen stand guard next "The Boy in the Red Vest" by Paul Cezanne in Belgrade.  Credit: Alexa Stanovic/AFP/Getty Images

Georgia's Josef Stalin museum will acknowledge atrocities

April 10, 2012 |  7:30 am


This post has been corrected. See details below.

In an announcement that marked something akin to an acceptance of reality, a museum in Gori, Georgia, has closed for remodeling as it shifts focus toward also exhibiting the atrocities that colored the rule of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

Georgian Culture Minister Nika Rurua stated that his nation can no longer host a museum "glorifying the Soviet dictator," which was first opened in 1937 and includes the house where Stalin was born in 1879, along with more than 47,000 exhibits and personal effects, according to the Associated Press.

The move could be seen as a continuation of the Western-friendly trend in Georgia, which broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Not so coincidentally, many of Stalin's more than 700,000 victims in his brutal policies were ethnic Georgians, along with Chechens, Ukrainians and practically anyone else who could have been considered an enemy during Stalin's reign in the 1930s.

While the planned changes can only be considered positive, it's hard to say whether they can improve a museum that couldn't have been considered a terribly upbeat destination to begin with. As one reviewer wrote on the travel website TripAdvisor, "The Stalin Museum could be easily skipped and the time spent on more uplifting experiences. But it is such an anachronism that may travelers may find strangely compelled to go."

[For the record April 10: An earlier version of this post listed Stalin's year of birth as 1897. He was born in 1879.]


Damien Hurst compares art to currency

Denver museum shines light on Titanic survivor Molly Brown

Eisenhower Memorial Commission throw support behind Gehry

-- Chris Barton

Photo: A bust of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin inside a museum dedicated to him in the town of Gori, Georgia. Credit: Shakh Aivazov / Associated Press

Mexico's guns-as-art exhibition is heading to the U.S.

April 6, 2012 |  8:00 am

A Farewell to Arms

An exhibition of guns as art now in Mexico is making its way from Mexico to the United States, where many of the weapons presumably originated.

The show "A Farewell to Arms. Contraband on the Border" uses photos and artwork to illustrate how the illegal arms trade has affected Mexico, where as many as 50,000 people have been killed in gun-related violence since 2006.

The south-of-the-border exhibition, currently at the Memory and Tolerance Museum in Mexico City, closes April 15. The Washington Office on Latin America plans to bring it to the U.S. capital later this year.

The exhibit mixes imagery of danger and innocence -- one photo depicts children using a rifle to break a piñata -- to show how ubiquitous firearms have become. Another piece has U.S.A. spelled out in a mosaic of pistols.

Mexico's deadliest city reportedly is Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas. Many homicides involve drug traffickers, but the violence has spilled over to claim civilians by the score, as well as journalists and human rights activists.

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Arts on TV: Renee Fleming; Getty Museum gardens; Suzanna Guzman

April 5, 2012 |  6:00 am


“Soulful Symphony With Darin Atwater: Song in a Strange Land” Noon Thursday, KCET: Darin Atwater conducts an 85-member orchestra in compositions exhibiting styles ranging through gospel, jazz and symphonic music.

“Open Call” 9 p.m. Thursday, KCET: "USC First Look": Hosted by mezzo-soprano opera singer Suzanna Guzman; looks at four films from USC's First Look film festival.

“Independent Lens” 9 p.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. Monday, KOCE: "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey": Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo.

“Dudu Fisher: In Concert From Israel” Noon Friday, KCET: Dudu Fisher performs Broadway tunes and Israeli songs.

“Live From Lincoln Center” 10 p.m. Friday, KOCE: "Renée Fleming at the Penthouse": Soprano Renée Fleming's performance features “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” and songs from “Dark Hope.” With Josh Groban.

“The Victory Garden” 9:30 a.m. Saturday, KLCS; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, KVCR: "Easy: The Getty Museum."

“Rick Steves' Europe” 2:30 p.m. Saturday, KOCE: "Florence: City of Art": Florence, Italy; Michelangelo's “David”; Botticelli's “Venus”; Uffizi art gallery; perfumery; Vespa; converted monastery.

“Great Performances” 9 p.m. Saturday, KOCE: "Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk -- A Celebration of New Orleans Blues": Hugh Laurie performs New Orleans blues and jazz with Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and Tom Jones.

“Chris Botti in Boston, Part II” 11:30 p.m. Saturday, KOCE: A continuation of the trumpeter's performance with the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart includes guests Sting, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban and Yo-Yo Ma.

“American Masters” 11 p.m. Sunday, KOCE: "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird": A documentary about Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee, who never published again after “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Rick Steves' Europe” Midnight Monday, KCET: "Rome: Baroque, After Dark": A tour of Rome includes a pilgrimage to Michelangelo's Pieta, St. Peter's Basilica and the Borghese Gallery.

“Glee: Don't Stop Believing” 6 and 10 p.m. Tuesday, Biography: The stars of “Glee” perform for their auditions and exhibit how they found their way to the small screen.

-- Compiled by Ed Stockly

Photo: "Open Call's" Suzanna Guzman. Credit KCET

LACMA, Getty among 134 museums joining Google's art site

April 2, 2012 |  9:01 pm


Google knows something about the power in numbers, even in an art website.

Google Art Project, which launched last year with virtual tours and digitized artworks from 17 museums, has added 134 new museums to its site, including four from California.

Initially, no museums from the state were included in the project; now the Getty Museum, the L.A. County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco are participating.

Other newcomers in the U.S. include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., the Rubin Museum in New York, and the White House.
New partners from outside the U.S. include the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art in Brazil, the Musée d’Orsay in France, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico, Islamic Museum of Qatar, and the National Museum of Indonesia, just to name a few. Altogether, 40 countries are now represented.

This expansion addresses early complaints from cultural critics that the site was too Eurocentric and Old Masters-heavy, because of offerings from such venerable institutions as the Frick Collection and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Uffizi in Florence, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the National Gallery in London.

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Anschutz Collection in Denver to be regularly open to the public

April 2, 2012 | 10:47 am


The Anschutz Collection in Denver is getting ready to open its doors to the public as an art museum with regular hours. The collection, which was open on a limited basis by appointment only, contains more than 650 paintings and drawings focused on depictions of the American West, including works by Georgia O'Keefe, Frederic Remington and George Catlin.

The collection, also also known as the American Museum of Western Art, is scheduled to open as a museum with regular hours in May, according to its website. The site said there will be curated tours twice a day on any Monday or Wednesday. Tours will cost $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.

Located in the Navarre Building in downtown Denver, the collection features works purchased by Philip F. Anschutz, the Colorado billionaire whose many interests include stakes in a number of sports teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the Kings.

Anschutz is the key player in the development of a planned NFL stadium in downtown L.A through his company AEG -- Anschutz Entertainment Group. The company also oversees Staples Center in downtown, the Home Depot Center in Carson and a number of other sports venues around the country.


AEG selects Gensler to design downtown L.A. football stadium

Street artists sue AEG in dispute over lost artwork in penthouse

Does NFL stadium proposal reveal a dysfunctional planning culture?

-- David Ng

Photo: A detail of Georgia O'Keefe's "Red Hills, Grey Sky" (1937). Credit: Anschutz Collection / Autry National Center

Australian museum holding naked art tours

March 29, 2012 |  7:40 am


Nudity in art is as old as civilization itself. But nudity while viewing art? That requires a bit of an explanation.

Australia's Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney will be holding tours in which participants are required to shed their clothes and wander the galleries completely naked. The tours, taking place April 27-29, are organized by conceptual artist Stuart Ringholt, who will also be in the buff as he leads participants through the building.

People contemplating the idea of participation don't have to worry about nosy on-lookers or Peeping Toms. The tours, which are adults-only, are held after the museum's regular hours. The museum notes on its website that changing areas are available.

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Arts on TV: San Francisco Symphony; 'War Horse'; Dudu Fisher

March 29, 2012 |  5:43 am

Lang Lang San Francisco Symphony

“Globe Trekker” 1:30 p.m. Thursday, KCET: Amsterdam City Guide 2 : The Rijksmuseum boasts a collection of paintings by the Dutch masters; Van Gogh Museum; Anne Frank House; gay parade.

“Exploring the Arts With Gloria Greer” 6:30 p.m. Thursday, KVCR: Michael H. Lord Gallery.

“Open Call” 9 p.m. Thursday, KCET: The Colburn Orchestra.  

“Late Show With David Letterman” 11:35 p.m. Thursday, CBS: A performance from Broadway's “Once.”

“Great Performances” 9 p.m. Friday, KOCE: San Francisco Symphony at 100: Amy Tan hosts the San Francisco Symphony's centennial celebration. Special guests include Itzhak Perlman and Lang Lang.

“Live From the Artists Den” 10 p.m. Friday, KLCS: Grammy nominee Death Cab for Cutie performs at the Brooklyn Museum.

“Making 'War Horse'” 1, 5:30, 8 and 11 p.m. Saturday, KOCE; 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday, KOCE: : Behind the scenes of the National Theatre of Britain's stage production of “War Horse.”

“Yanni — Live at El Morro” 4 p.m. Saturday, KOCE; noon Monday, KOCE:  Yanni performs with his 15-piece orchestra at El Morro, a 16th century citadel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  

 “Great Performances” noon Sunday, KOCE: "The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater": Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony, brings to life the words and music of the American Yiddish theater in a tribute to his grandparents, Bessie and Boris Thomashefsky. (N)
“Still” 9 p.m. Sunday, KLCS: Painter Clyfford Still was a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement.  

“American Masters” 9 p.m. Monday, KOCE: Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel : Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margaret Mitchell endured depression and illness until her death in 1949.

“American Masters” 10 p.m. Monday, KOCE: "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & 'To Kill a Mockingbird'": Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee never published again after “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Rick Steves' Europe” 7 p.m. Tuesday, KCET: Lisbon and the Algarve : The best of Portugal features Lisbon's Fado singers and ornate architecture.

“Dudu Fisher: In Concert From Israel” 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, KCET: Singer Dudu Fisher performs Broadway tunes and Israeli songs.

— Compiled by Ed Stockly

Photo: Lang Lang in "Great Performances: San Francisco Symphony at 100." Credit: Detlef Schneider.

Jeff Koons train: Destination LACMA or the High Line?

March 27, 2012 |  6:03 pm

While LACMA’s plans to build a massive Jeff Koons sculpture of a train outside the museum seem to be running out of steam, the Friends of the High Line in New York have thrown another possible wrench into the works: They announced their desire to build the same unrealized sculpture by Koons in their popular city park, which overlooks Chelsea and neighboring areas in Manhattan where an elevated railway once ran.

“I think the train connection is really powerful for us,” said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, which is known for integrating art, though usually temporary, into the elevated park.

As a permanent attraction, the Koons sculpture “could point to the city’s industrial history and how freight trains used to run here,” he said, adding that one proposed site is the rail yards between 30th and 34th streets, near the West Side Highway.

The sculpture, which the Los Angeles County Museum of Art unveiled to the public with dramatic renderings five years ago, consists of a realistic-looking 70-foot replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive hanging from a real 160-foot crane. The train is meant to look and sound authentic, with wheels chugging and steam releasing on occasion. The project was estimated to cost at least $25 million, though several people close to the project say that actual costs could run much higher.

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