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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art announces the promotion of Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher to the Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design and head of the Department of Architecture and Design. In her new role, Dunlop Fletcher will set the overall vision for the department, overseeing acquisitions, exhibitions and publications. She previously served the museum as assistant curator from 2008 to 2013, and as associate curator since 2013.

“We are grateful to Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher for her tremendous contributions to the museum,” said Neal Benezra, SFMOMA director. “I am certain she will continue to expand the Department of Architecture and Design when the new SFMOMA opens in spring 2016, with her breadth of knowledge, curatorial expertise and deep connections to our community of innovative designers.”

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It’s the beginning of a long-term relationship Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Hyundai. The Southern California institution and the Korean automaker announced a 10-year partnership today which is part of the larger Hyundai Project. The move marks LACMA’s longest commitment to a corporate sponsor and will enable myriad projects in the areas of art and technology and Korean art scholarship, specifically through acquisitions, exhibitions and publications until 2024.

“Art is a creative expression of human values that transcends age, gender, race and culture,” said Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman Euisun Chung in a release.

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The Malaysian curator and art advisor Adeline Ooi has been appointed Art Basel's director Asia. Ooi, who has been Art Basel's VIP relations manager for Southeast Asia for the past two years, takes up the post next month, and will help deliver the third edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong next spring (15-17 March).

Ooi co-founded the Kuala Lumpur-based consultancy RogueArt in 2009, which focuses on cultural projects, exhibitions and publications, and advises corporate collections about sourcing works.

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M. Melissa Wolfe will join the Saint Louis Art Museum as curator and head of the Department of American Art, the Museum announced today. She assumes her duties in January.

“Melissa Wolfe is an impressive and prolific curator, having organized dozens of groundbreaking exhibitions, symposia, and publications over her career that speak to her creativity and intellectual rigor,” said Jason T. Busch, the Saint Louis Art Museum’s deputy director for curatorial affairs and museum programs. “Her vision will guide the comprehensive evaluation and reinstallation of the Museum's American art galleries over the next two years.”

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013 17:41

The Getty Releases 4,500 More Images for Public Use

After releasing about 6,400 high-resolution images for public use without fees or restriction back in August, The Getty Research Institute has released a second batch of works, bringing the total number of images available to approximately 10,000. The initiative is part of the Getty’s Open Content Program, which will make images from the Getty’s illustrious collection available for publications, research and a variety of personal uses.

The works recently made available on the Getty’s site include drawings, watercolors, artists’ sketchbooks, rare prints, architectural drawings and photographs. Before launching the Open Content Program, the Getty’s images were only available upon request, for a fee and carried certain terms and conditions. The images will now be available for direct download on the website, free of charge. Officials plan to keep adding works to the Getty’s site until all of the Institute-owned or public domain images are available.    

Getty President and CEO, Jim Cuno, said, This project goes to the heart of the Getty’s mission to share its collections and research as widely as possible. We look forward to seeing the ingenious, creative and thoughtful ways these images are being used.”

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Friday, 13 September 2013 17:05

Museum of Arts and Design Appoints New Director

The Museum of Arts and Design in New York has appointed Dr. Glenn Adamson as the new Nanette L. Laitman Director. Adamson, who previously worked at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, will succeed Holly Hotchner, who stepped down at the end of April. Adamson will assume his role at the Museum of Arts and Design on October 15, 2013.

Adamson helmed the V&A’s Research Department, which oversees, evaluates and supports the development of museum projects. In this role, Adamson helped bring major exhibitions to fruition, managed partnerships with other institutions and led academic fundraising. He also contributed to the museum’s publications, educational programs, media outreach and commercial activities. Before joining the V&A in 2005, Adamson served as Curator for the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which collects and promotes research within the field of decorative arts.  

An advocate for the reconsideration of craft as an inescapable cultural force rather than an unassuming art classification, Adamson has had a profound effect on makers as well as craft historians and theorists. He has published a number of books on the subject and is founding co-editor of the academic, peer-reviewed Journal of Modern Craft.

Adamson said, “I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next director of MAD…I look forward to building on the museum’s recent successes and to working with the museum’s visionary board and senior leadership to enhance and extend MAD’s potential.”

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The two leading decorative arts institutions in the South are embarking on a new level of collaboration between their organizations. The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg (the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum) and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) at Old Salem Museums & Gardens have entered a five-year agreement for reciprocal extended loans. The museums have already collaborated on the recently opened exhibition, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South (on view through September 7, 2014) at the Arts Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. With nine major paintings MESDA is the largest single lender to the exhibition, while select objects from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are already on display at MESDA.

Many of MESDA’s forty objects on loan to Colonial Williamsburg will be featured in a new, long-term exhibition opening at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in January 2014. A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South will feature materials made in or imported to the South before 1840. The two museums have already begun discussions on several ways in which they can broaden the collaboration. Ideas include research exchanges, conservation, joint exhibitions and, potentially, joint publications. Further evidence of the collaboration will be seen in Colonial Williamsburg’s 66th annual Antiques Forum, February 14–18, 2014. Tentatively titled “New Findings in the Arts of the Coastal South,” the program will feature multiple speakers from both institutions as well as a number of experts from museums and universities across the nation.

This May MESDA honored Richard Hampton Jenrette with the first ever Frank L. Horton Lifetime Achievement Award for Southern Decorative Arts. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, during the past forty years Jenrette has owned and restored a dozen historic properties. He has retained six of them and furnished each with period antiques, many original to the houses. Threads of Feeling, on view at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, through May 2014, displays the Foundling Hospital of London’s eighteenth century record books that retain textile tokens used to identify babies left in its care. The exhibit and catalogue provide insight into social and textile history and is the only American venue. October 20–22, 2013, Williamsburg will host a symposium to explore the objects in context. For information on the institutions, exhibitions, and symposium, visit and

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Thomas M. Messer, the longtime director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at his home in Manhattan. Messer served as the institution’s director from 1961 to 1988 when he retired. Messer also served as the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, from 1980 to 1988.

During his time at the Guggenheim, Messer helped to establish the museum as of one of the finest art institutions in the world. In doing so, he grew its collection, increased its exhibitions program, improved its publications, and helped it to become a global entity.

Messer vastly expanded the Guggenheim’s holdings by acquiring two major private collections. In 1963, Justin K. Thanhauser, the son of a German art dealer, gave the museum a trove of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early modern works including over 30 Picassos. The second bequest came from Peggy Guggenheim who left her entire collection including an array of Cubist, Surrealist, and Abstract Expressionist works to the Guggenheim Foundation. The collection operates as a museum known as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.  

Born in Eastern Europe in 1920, Messer arrived in the United States in 1939. He graduated from Boston University in 1942, joined the army, and served as an interrogator for military intelligence in Europe. After the war, he stayed in Europe and studied art at the Sorbonne. Upon his return back to the United States, Messer was named director of a small museum in New Mexico. He eventually earned a master’s degree in art history from Harvard and was soon appointed director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

While he has no surviving family, Messer leaves behind a legacy of diplomatic leadership as well as one of the finest art institutions in the world.

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Thursday, 25 October 2012 21:22

Aphrodite Deemed Too Racy by Some Texans

There was plenty of excitement when the San Antonio Museum of Art’s exhibition, Aphrodite and the Gods of Love, opened on September 15. Since then, the show has turned into a source of controversy. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition features 125 statues, vases, terracotta and bronze figures, mirrors and jewelry from the MFA and seven works from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, Italy. Aphrodite is the first exhibition to focus on the art of ancient Greece in the San Antonio Museum of Art’s history.

A 2,000-year-old statuette of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, has been used in promotional material to spread the word about the rare exhibit and has left some people in shock. The San Antonio Current, San Antonio Magazine, San Antonio Jewish Journal, and San Antonio Business Journal all ran the advertisement without question. Three other publications as well as the San Antonio International Airport refused to promote the exhibition as long as a nude Aphrodite was featured in the ad.

While the controversy has some people flustered, it has brought a good amount of attention to the San Antonio Museum and the exhibition. Aphrodite will be on view through February 17, 2013.

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While a lot of time, thought, and care goes into the creation of exhibition catalogues, their lifespans tends to be short-lived. Unhappy with this accepted cycle, Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, decided to change things. The Museum’s new online resource, MetPublications, allows users to browse more than 600 catalogues, journals, and museum bulletins, including 368 out-of-print publications. It will even be possible to get copies of 140 of those out-of-print catalogues along with paperbound editions with digitally printed color reproductions through Yale University Press.

Spanning from 1964 to the present, topics covered include art, art history, archaeology, conservation, and collecting. MetPublications includes a description and table of contents for almost all of the periodicals and even offers information about the authors, reviews of the books, and links to related publications and art in the museum’s collection. The comprehensive resource will also provide links to purchase in-print books. If a reader is in need of a book but is not close to the museum or the book is not in the Museum’s holdings, MetPublications will direct them to WorldCat, a global library catalogue. Over time, the Met plans to add publications dating as far back as 1870, when then the museum was founded.

While other museums such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Los Angeles County of Museum of Art already have scholarly resources online, it is a welcome addition to the Met’s offerings.

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