Art Industry News: MoMA’s Director Says Museums Should Have Fewer Limits on Selling Art + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Lisa Freiman abruptly steps down as director of the VCU ICA and Drake gets presents from Takashi Murakami.

Glenn D. Lowry attends "Etre Moderne : Le MoMA A Paris" exhibition at Fondation Louis Vuitton on October 9, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Friday, January 12.


PST Performance Art Festival Kicks Off – The 11-day affair, which began yesterday, brings performances and site-specific installations by more than 200 Latin American and Latino artists to locations across the city. The program draws in large part on the tradition of performance art as activism, with many events taking place in public spaces and free of charge. (Los Angeles Times)

Are Overcrowded Museums Ruining the Experience? – At least someone likes the Met’s new admission policy. Tiffany Jenkins longs for a time before museums began drawing record numbers of visitors and staging blockbuster shows, which she says has created subpar conditions for viewing art. She hopes the Met’s new policy will make the museum less congested—and a better experience for locals and those who can afford to pay. (Financial Times)

MoMA’s Director Says Deaccessioning Policy Should Be Rethought – Speaking to Charlotte Burns, Glenn Lowry discusses a range of issues facing museums today and reveals that he has a less orthodox view of deaccessioning than many of his peers. Although the controversial practice should not be used to cover operating costs, he believes, it should be used—”rigorously”—not only to fund art acquisitions, but also to build endowments and support programming and publishing. This approach is necessary because museums all over the country are “woefully undercapitalized,” he says. (In Other Words)

McDonald’s Pulls Anti-Museum Ad – A radio spot for the fast-food giant aired in Canada mocks a museum visit that cost $5, claiming the money would be better spent on a value meal. Museum supporters called the humor “insidious,” as it targets a demographic that museums are also trying to attract. The company has apologized and pulled the ad. (CBC)


Art Cologne Releases Exhibitor List – The art fair has released the names of the 200 galleries from 31 countries that will participate in its 52nd edition, which runs April 19 through 22. The Neumarkt sector, for galleries in business fewer than 10 years, will include Berlin’s Xavierlaboulbenne, while established galleries such as David Zwirner, Gagosian, and Hauser + Wirth will also participate in the fair. (Press release)

Phillips Hires Specialist in Florida – Maura Smith has been named Phillips’s regional director in Palm Beach as part of an ongoing expansion of the auction house’s presence in the Americas. Smith has previously worked at Christie’s and Paddle8. (Press release)

Alex Schröder Exhibits Collection in Vienna – The contemporary art collection of collector and dealer Alexander Schröder, which has been steadily growing since the mid-’90s, will be presented at Vienna’s mumok museum between February 3 and March 27. His holdings include work by Isa Genzken, Anne Imhof, and Tom Burr, among others. (Press release)


VCU Director Steps Down Abruptly – The inaugural director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s forthcoming Contemporary Art Institute in Richmond has suddenly stepped down, mere months before the building was due to open on April 21, to pursue personal projects. Lisa Freiman had led the museum since 2013, working to raise $37 million and overseeing the construction by Steve Holl Architects. (New York Times)

Pioneering LA Art Dealer Jan Baum Dies – The LA-based dealer, who helped to establish La Brea Avenue as a prominent art district in the city during the ’80s and who supported artists like Chris Burden and Betye Saar, has passed away. She died on Christmas Day at the age of 89. (LA Times)

New Art Center Proposed in Minneapolis – A 17-story residential tower with artist lofts and an art center is being proposed at the site of the city’s former public works facility in Edina. The proposed project would replace the Edina Art Center, which is currently located in an aging building that requires substantial maintenance. (Star Tribune)

Just After Denver Art Museum Breaks Ground, Vandal Strikes – Only a few short hours after the Denver Art Museum’s Gio Ponti building broke ground for its $150 million restoration, a graffiti artist struck. The ambitious architectural project is slated for completion in 2021, just in time for the museum’s 50th anniversary. (Press releaseWestword)


Amherst College Museum Gets $3 Million Gift – The Mead Art Museum in Massachusetts received the gift from Sue and John Wieland to support its contemporary art acquisitions as well as endow the director and chief curator positions. Sixty works from the Wielands, including examples by Louise Bourgeois, Martha Rosler, and Ai Weiwei, will go on view at the museum on February 8 to celebrate the donation. (Artforum)

Block Museum Gets $1 Million Endowment – The Block’s board of advisors banded together to donate the cash for an endowment fund at the Northwestern University campus museum. The effort was spearheaded by board member Diane Solomon. (Press release)

What Do American Museums Charge for Admission? – In the wake of the controversy over the Met’s new $25 admission fee for tourists, ARTnews rounds up the cost of a ticket to visit 200 museums around the US, from the $30 charged by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia to the many institutions that allow access to their collections for free. (ARTnews)

Drake Loves Murakami Pillows – The Canadian musician posted a haul of Takashi Murakami gifts on his Instagram, thanking the artist “and true legend” for his generosity. He added: “I know social media can be a life swallowing, ego driven, destructive tool… but it’s also lead [sic] me to make some amazing connections and have casual conversations with people I truly admire.” (Instagram)

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