Art News Roundup | August 2018
By SARAH TELESCA | August 12, 2018
As you continue to slog through the summer, the art world continues onward and upward, downward, and frankly all over the place. This edition of the art news roundup has a (mostly) decidedly positive spin, so grab your iced beverage of choice and plop down in front of an AC unit while you catch up on what’s been happening.
Getting Paid to See Original Works of Art
Good news for students and scholars of art history! A donation of $1 million was made anonymously to the College Art Association of America (CAA). The funds will be awarded in amounts of up $10,000 to art history students and their professors to observe the original works of art they are studying—no more straining your eyes over Google images’ interpretation of canonical works. The Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions will, amazingly, cover lodging, travel, and museum admission both nationally and internationally for its awardees. Keep an eye on the CAA website, which will be accepting applications as of fall 2018.
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Museums are playing with new ways to bring much-needed revenue to their institutions—if you’ve ever wanted to wear carry a Monet around on your arm or Van Gogh’s designs on your feet (and, you know, have a few thousand dollars to spare) you’re in luck. Museums have been partnering with luxury brands to sell pricey custom beds, cushion covers, and clothing in a bid to make up for declining proceeds.
NADA Shutters Spring Fair
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) announced the cancellation of its upcoming annual spring fair in response to an art market over-saturated with fairs. NADA is ready to pull their focus to their existing galleries, which tend to suffer at the high costs of participating in fairs. Floridians and travelers can still check out NADA’s Miami fair, which is slated for December. Similarly, Miami’s PULSE art fair also chose to shut down their New York branch, choosing to keep their focus on exhibitions at home.
Ai Weiwei’s Studio Demolished
In (another) bit of sad yet unsurprising news, Ai Weiwei’s Beijing studio has been demolished. The artist’s studio is not being torn down because of his criticism of Chinese authority, but disappointingly to make way for new commercial developments. Its regrettable for a plethora of reasons, one of which is the building’s unique structure and history—Ai, who has been creating work there since 2006, describes it as an “East German style socialist factory building.” The artist has another studio in a different location, but the demolition of his creative home for over a decade still stings.
Hope Alswang Steps Down
Hope Alswang, Director of West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum of Art will be stepping down on the first day of March 2019. Alswang’s tenure at the museum has been marked with nothing but positivity; she launched the Recognition of Art by Women exhibition that gives a platform to living women artists, garnered over 700 new works for the museum’s permanent collection, and significantly grew its community outreach programs. Alswang’s final achievement is the addition of a new wing, which will add 35% more gallery space, a sculpture garden, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and will double the amount of space reserved for educational initiatives.
Unionized MoMA employees have mobilized, staging a protest recently in the museum’s lobby. MoMA employees are presenting a strongly united front before they go into contract negotiations, citing the need for job security, overtime compensation, and preventing worker benefit reductions. Hopeful in the face of impending negotiations, workers are making it clear that they are not afraid to strike for their rights.