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The Louvre has announced the June 6, 2014 reopening of its newly restored and reinstalled 18th-Century Decorative Arts Galleries. One of the most comprehensive collections of 18th-century French decorative arts in world, this is the first time since 2005 that the collection is on view to the public. The 35 galleries—which span 23,000 square feet—display over 2,000 pieces in object-focused galleries and period-room settings. The new installation traces the evolution of French taste and the decorative arts, emphasize the major artisans and artists of the period, and highlight the renowned collectors and patrons of the era.

The exhibition design was conceived collaboratively by interior designer and French decorative-arts connoisseur Jacques Garcia and the curators in the Department of Decorative Arts under the direction of Marc Bascou. The architectural project management for the new galleries was entrusted to Michel Goutal, the Louvre’s senior historical monument architect, with technical assistance provided by the Louvre’s Department of Project Planning and Management.

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Creditors in Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy have engineered a new appraisal aimed at putting the Detroit Institute of Arts' entire collection in play as a possible chip to maximize the amount the city will be obligated to ante up for debt repayment.

The Detroit News reports that, at some creditors’ behest, the city’s bankruptcy managers have begun trying to place a value on the museum’s entire 66,000-piece collection. That’s quite an escalation from a previous appraisal of only about 1,700 works that the DIA had bought with city funds.

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Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled Thursday that he won't allow some of Detroit's largest creditors to remove art from the walls at the Detroit Institute of Arts in order to inspect and appraise the art as part of the city's bankruptcy.

The creditors had argued that doing so would let their outside experts help determine the artworks' value.

Rhodes also denied the creditors' motion seeking access to up to a million additional pages of historic documents about the art housed at the city-owned museum. However, Rhodes said he would allow creditors to work with DIA officials to allow access to artwork in storage at the museum.

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A new museum of modern and contemporary art is to open in the Citroën building in Brussels in 2017.

As revealed by daily publication L’Echo, the Brussels region has come to an agreement with car manufacturer PSA-Peugeot Citroën in order to gain access to the building — a space of as much as 16,000m² — as a site for the new museum, situated on Place de l’Yser.

The Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital region, Rudi Vervoort, explains that the canal zone was chosen in order to “unite the two sides of Brussels”, adding: “It is a very strong symbol which demonstrates our interest in developing the zone.”

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Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:44

France to Return Looted Artworks

On Tuesday, January 21, France’s Minister of Culture and Communication, Aurélie Filippetti, announced that the country would return three artworks that were looted during World War II to their rightful owners. The works include a 17th century landscape by the Flemish painter Joos de Momper, an 18th century portrait, and an oil on wood Madonna.

The works are among over 2,000 objects that have been held in temporary custody by French museums since the end of World War II. Some critics have spoken out against France, claiming that the country has not been proactive enough in terms of restitution efforts.

Since the end of World War II, France has returned around 80 looted artworks.

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Friday, 10 January 2014 18:10

Renwick Gallery Begins Major Renovation

The Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian museum dedicated to American craft and decorative arts, has embarked on a $30-million, two-year renovation project. The museum shuttered its 154-year-old building last month for its first renovation in 40 years. The Renwick will restore parts of its building, refurbish historic features and make technological updates to its Grand Salon.

The project is being helmed by the Cleveland-based architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskosky. Applied Minds, an interdisciplinary company based in Los Angeles, will be responsible for transforming the Renwick’s Grand Salon into a high-tech, interactive art space.

The project is a 50-50 public-private partnership. So far the Renwick has raised $10 million from private donors.

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Friday, 29 November 2013 10:08

Sicily Bans Loan of Important Artworks

Sicily’s regional government has set a travel ban on 23 of its most important artworks, including a painting by Caravaggio, ancient Greek sculptures, and a rare collection of Hellenistic silver.

The ban was put into effect due to growing concern that Sicily’s most treasured holdings spend too much time outside of the country, causing their own museums to suffer. Officials also stated that loans to foreign museums “have not produced benefits” for Sicily and have not occurred under “conditions of reciprocity with the borrowing institutions.” By keeping the works in Sicily, officials hope to draw more tourists to the island.

The culturally rich island of Sicily has its own regional government, which operates individually within the Italian system. Sicily’s new policies differ substantially from Italy’s more flexible lending practices.   


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A study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts showed that the number of people attending arts events in the United States continues to decline. In 2012, approximately 33% of adults, or 78 million individuals, visited an art museum or gallery, or attended at least one performing arts event. In 2008, the last time the NEA conducted its survey, 34.6% of adults attended arts events. The NEA began tracking arts attendance in 1982 and found that turnouts have been on a steady decline since 1992.

The advocacy group, Americans for the Arts, recently conducted a similar survey called the National Arts Index. The organization’s findings were on par with the NEA’s, showing that the health and vitality of the arts in the U.S. has been on a downward slope since 2011.

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After resigning from the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) board last summer, John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha have agreed to join the institution’s director search committee. The 14-member team will help find a replacement for former director, Jeffrey Deitch, who resigned in July 2013. In addition to the four prominent artists, the committee includes several members of MOCA’s board including Joel Wachs, who helms the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Baldessari told the Los Angeles Times “pertinent qualities [for a new director] would be fundraising, experience in how a museum operates, and most importantly, past curatorial skill. It would be a real opportunity to whoever is appointed, because there’s nowhere to go but up.” Deitch, who resigned with nearly two years left on his five-year contract, was plagued by criticism during his time at MOCA. While the museum was in poor financial standing when he came on board, the MOCA continued to fall into financial despair during Deitch’s time as director. The museum recently started to regain its footing after fundraising efforts by board members garnered over $75 million in donations.

There have been a number of rumors suggesting that Ann Goldstein, MOCA’s former senior curator who recently stepped down as the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, has been discussed as a potential candidate.

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Thursday, 19 September 2013 17:26

New Broad Museum will Offer Free Admission

The Broad, Los Angeles’ newest contemporary art museum, will offer free general admission when it opens in late 2014. The museum’s founders, Eli and Edythe Broad, made the announcement during a hardhat tour and preview of the institution. Eli Broad said, “It has long been our goal to ensure that the contemporary artworks in the Broad collections are seen by the broadest possible public. We believe that free general admission to the The Broad will help draw visitors to all of the cultural institutions along Grand Avenue.”

Designed by the New York City-based studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the new museum will present approximately 2,000 works from the Broads’ collections in a gallery space spanning over 50,000 square feet. In addition to the public galleries, The Broad will be the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation, a lending library of contemporary art created by the Broads in 1984. Since establishing the foundation, the Broads have loaned over 8,000 works of art to nearly 500 museums and galleries across the globe.

The $140 million museum has created over 1,000 new jobs and is being built entirely with union labor.

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