Kate Middleton Gets Warholed, an Auction House Flubs in New York, and More Must-Read Art News

Kate Middleton Gets Warholed, an Auction House Flubs in New York, and More Must-Read Art News

A Royal Pop-Off: As a eager portraitist of royalty, literal or pop-culturally figurative, what would Warhol have made of a session with princess-to-be Kate Middleton? Probably not the tacky Warholesque montage that Tatler put on the cover of its February issue. [Daily Mail]

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Bloomsbury Auctions Flounders in New York: The London-based auction house — which boasts that it is the world's top auctioneer of rare books and manuscripts — opened a New York salesroom three years ago, but since then has already seen numerous specialists move to other companies. A failure to sell one third of items up for auction at the Americana sale earlier this month has led to the cancellation of an upcoming Disney ephemera auction (which was to have included a Bambi ashtray!). "We're just having a strategic review," says the company's deputy chairman Rupert Powell. "I can't really give you any more clues."  [NYT

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Lindsay Pollock Takes on America: The Bloomberg reporter and tireless blogger will assume the post of editor-in-chief at Art in America magazine, signaling that the almost century-old publication may be looking to shift its focus to more strictly market-related news. Breaking the story, the New York Times tosses in a bit of sass: "Ms. Pollock has frequently written about Mr. [Peter] Brant," who serves as chairman of Brant Publications, which owns Art in America. "He has apparently been impressed." [NYT]

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Kanye's Art Protégé: Twenty-year-old Yale art history major Cassius Marcellus Cornelius Clay, who recently took a semester off to work as Kanye West's style guru on "art and fashion" projects, tells Opening Ceremony's blog that after graduation he aspires to be "an editor, a collector, or a museum curator." (On a related note, ARTINFO is seeking interns. Please send applications to newseditors@artinfo.com.) [Opening Ceremony]

Speaking of Lindsay Pollock: She has an uplifting story in the Art Newspaper about how New York's Lower East Side galleries are thriving in the still-uncertain economy, in part because "a handful of these younger gallerists are perfectly attuned to the times, hitting the perfect spot in terms of programme, sensibility and style," she writes. "Partly it’s the context. The Lower East Side (LES) is the alternative Chelsea. No matter how great a destination Chelsea may be for viewing contemporary art, after a decade of expansion and development, the area has lost any air of intimacy and bohemian flair—all of which is in abundance on the LES and other further out areas." [TAN]

Rolling a Loan Forward: The British Museum is allowing the country to keep the loan of the Cyrus Cylinder for three more months. (Perhaps out of sympathy for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the WikiLeak-ed report that he was slapped by the chief of his Revolutionary Guards?)  [Bloomberg]

Detroit's Ragged Glory: French philosopher Diderot, who once wrote that "one must ruin a palace to make it an object of interest," would be fascinated by modern-day Detroit. Photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre have documented the sepulchral abandoned buildings of the car capital in some riveting pictures. [Guardian]

The Erosion of the Corcoran: Following up on ARTINFO blogger Jason Edward Kaufman's scoop about the Corcoran putting its future in the hands of consultants, the Washington Post examines how the D.C. art institution got itself into such dire straits. [WaPo]

Art Walk, Extreme Edition: A Gary, Indiana, man is walking 550 miles to get state governor Mitch Daniels' attention in an effort to have a painting, Frank V. Dudley's "Landing the Fish Boat," sent from the Indiana State Museum back to Gary, where it was originally donated. [Post-Tribune

James Franco Collects Em All: Creative roles, that is, as he now moves to add film directing to acting, re-enacting ("Erased James Franco"), art-making, book-writing, performance art-ing, music-singing, award-show-hosting, and editorial-penning. The chimerical pop-culture hero, born of mortal woman, is in talks to oversee a film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel "Blood Meridian," as well as William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying." [Guardian]

Those Were the Days: In a delightful illustrated memoir, cartoonist James Stevenson talks about his early days working at the New Yorker as a teenager just after WWII. Of all the quirky anecdotes, perhaps the most telling is that in the 1940s an idea for a single cartoon caption paid $75. [NYT]

The Museum's Mouser: St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum has a new cat. The feline, which was found "injured and starving in the winder cold" but is now "lounging in luxury in the palace," joins a crack team of some 50 cats who live in the basement of the famed institution, which occupies the former home of Catherine the Great. Apparently, cats have inhabited the museum for "centuries," defending works of art from vermin. [UPI]

And Don't You Forget It: The Los Angeles art scene may have grown exponentially over the last few years, but "for art, culture, food and shopping, there's still no place like Gotham," the L.A. Times writes in its guide to New York hot spots.[LAT]

More People Going to LACMA: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has reported that its overall attendance numbers for 2010 are more than 9 percent higher than those recorded in 2009. The institution attributes this boost to the opening of the Renzo Piano-designed Resnick Pavilion as well as the popular exhibitions "American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915" and "Renoir in the 20th Century." [LAT

MFA Boston Gets New Curator: The museum has named Benjamin Weiss to the inaugural Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Visual Culture position, a role within the department of prints, drawings, and photographs. The position was endowed by its namesake with a donation of 100,000 postcards, which White will arrange in a 2012 exhibition. Before being promoted, Weiss served as the mysteriously titled Head of Interpretation at the MFA Boston and as curator of rare books at MIT's Burndy Library. Guess what? This news also comes from Art in America's new editor-in-chief. [Lindsay Pollock