Alec Baldwin Urges Italian-Style Arts Funding, Met Director's Million-Dollar Payday, and More Must-Read Art News

Alec Baldwin Urges Italian-Style Arts Funding, Met Director's Million-Dollar Payday, and More Must-Read Art News
Alec Baldwin speaks at The Americans For The Arts 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture On Arts And Public Policy
(Courtesy Getty Images)

– Alec Baldwin Stumps for Arts Funding: Though his character on "30 Rock," Jack Donaghy, may have gone to Washington to promote big business, the real-life Alec Baldwin is advocating for a slightly more liberal cause: increased arts funding. The Emmy winner has returned from a trip to Italy, and plans to speak today on Capitol Hill about what he saw there. At the National Press Club yesterday, he gave a taste: “It’s hard to leave Rome, because the city itself is a work of art,” he said, noting that Italians spend a lot of money on the arts. “Our economy is still very strong. We have what [Italy] doesn’t have — a great humming, steaming economy — and we don’t get the art thing right all the time.” [AFP]

– Met Director Nets a Mil in 2010: The director of the Metropolitan MuseumThomas P. Campbell, earned $1.04 million in 2010 — a 12 percent increase from 2009 — according to the institution's recently released 2010-11 tax returns. (MoMA's Glenn Lowry, by comparison, made $1.6 million in 2009.) 2010 was a record year for the most-visited museum in New York, and while Campbell's salary only rose two percent, to $653,402, other benefits he received, including housing and travel, were valued at $389,051. [Bloomberg]

– Helsinki Mayor Gives Guggenheim Go-Ahead: Plans for the Guggenheim Foundation's fourth European museum, to be located in the center of the Finnish capital, have received the approval of the city's mayor, Jussi Pajunen. (It now must be green-lit by the city council.) The €140 million ($183 million) museum is expected to attract an annual attendance of 500,000. [Businessweek]

India and Pakistan Likely to Sign Culture Pact: The two south Asian nations are poised to revive cultural ties thanks to a proposed pact for exchange in music, dance, theater and visual arts. The partnership would involve joint dance and theater festivals, presentations by cultural icons, and traveling art exhibitions. [Zee News]

– Auction-Bound "Scream" Sparks Munch Madness: Before it heads to auction in New York, the last version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" in private hands is currently on view at Sotheby's London, where it has attracted an unheard-of 5,200 visitors in four days. No version of "The Scream" will be included in the Tate's major Munch exhibition this summer. [Telegraph]

– China's Terracotta Warriors March on Midtown: A platoon of 10 authentic 2,000-year-old Chinese terracotta warrior statues who guarded the tomb of China's first emperor — along with hundreds of artifacts including the gates from an ancient Han burial chamber — will have their U.S. debut at New York's Discovery Times Square on April 27. [Press Release]

– Christie's Gets Richter Fever: The New York auction house will offer a group of six paintings by art market superstar Gerhard Richter at its May 8 sale. The abstracts, dating from 1968 through 1993, are estimated to fetch a total of $40 million. Last fall, Sotheby's offered eight Richter paintings, which together sold for a total of $74 million. [Above the Estimate]

– Holland Cotter Heads to Mali: In the second installment of a four-part series devoted to the state of visual arts in Africa, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic heads to Mali and takes in a Dogon masked dance performance, which is both tourist attraction and long-held tradition. "In the West we have a particular definition of authenticity," he writes. "But in Africa, as often as not, authentic is simply what works, socially and spiritually." [NYT]

– Dallas Museum Names Assistant Curator: The DMA has appointed Gabriel Ritter its assistant curator of contemporary art. Ritter, who's currently finishing a Ph.D in art history at UCLA, was previously a curatorial assistant at LA MOCA. He starts his new job in Dallas on May 14. [Press Release]

– RIP Donald Young, Chicago Art Dealer: One of the Windy City's most prominent gallerists, Donald Young, died on Thursday at 69. Famous for bringing minimalist art to Chicago with his one-time business partner Rhona Hoffman, Young represented some of contemporary art's most important talents, including Jeff Koons and Richard Serra. [Chicago Tribune]


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