Getty Fires Educators to Buy More Art, Analyzing Occupy Style on May Day, and More Must-Read Art News

Getty Fires Educators to Buy More Art, Analyzing Occupy Style on May Day, and More Must-Read Art News

– Layoffs at the Getty: The J. Paul Getty Trust is slashing 34 jobs in its museum division, including 19 layoffs in the education department. Overall museum staff will drop from 394 to 360, a nearly 9 percent cut. The expected annual savings of $4.3 million will be redirected to art acquisitions. [LAT]

– Inside the Occupy Art Movement: As posters proliferate around today's planned May Day protests, economics journalist Paul Mason asks "Illuminator" creator Mark Read, poster artist Molly Crabapple, conceptual artist Zoe Beloff and others about the characteristics of art made for and by the Occupy Wall Street movement. "Occupy signals the limitations of what we've come to call contemporary art," says artist and curator Christopher Kulendran Thomas. "It uncritically uses the language of advertising to communicate: it goes where contemporary art can't go." [BBC]

– Freud Frenzy: The National Portrait Gallery's posthumous exhibition of portraits by Lucian Freud has attracted 175,000 people since it opened on February 9, making it the most popular paying show in the London gallery's history. The museum will stay open until midnight during the show's final weekend, May 24 to 26, to cope with the expected flood of Freud fans. [Telegraph]

– Sotheby's Halts Stateside Russian Sales: The auction house will no longer hold devoted Russian painting sales in New York, opting to focus instead on its biannual Russian painting sales in London. Most collectors of Russian art now reside in Moscow and London, according to Sotheby's. [RT]

– Who Says You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover?: Felix Salmon takes down Eli Broad's new book, "The Art of Being Unreasonable," on account of its cover, which features the billionaire art collector posing with Jeff Koons's "Rabbit." "Broad’s Rabbit is an example of unconventional thinking in much the same way as a Saudi oil well is an example of an unconventional energy source," he writes. [Reuters]

– Another Wall Collapses at Pompeii: A wall adorned with a red fresco has collapsed at the ancient Italian city, the latest in a string of major collapses over the last two years. "How many walls have to fall," asked Giulia Rodano, cultural affairs spokeswoman for the liberal Italy of Values party, "to see a turnaround in state finance for the protection of cultural assets?" [Telegraph]

– Fitzwilliam Museum Launches Hotline to Solve Heist: In the UK, Cambridge police have launched a poster campaign and set up a hotline in the hopes of finding a lead in the recent theft of 18 Chinese artifacts worth an estimated $29 million from Fitzwilliam Museum. Meanwhile, musuem staff have made their own PSA, to be broadcast on the BBC: "Please help us to get our babies back," curator Victoria Avery says in the segment. [BBC]

– Canadian Minister Cancels Art Sale: Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has abandoned plans to sell off works from his ministry's collection to generate funds. Among the 140 state-owned works he set aside to sell to museums and public agencies at a generous 30 percent discount were paintings by canonical Canadian artists Jean Paul Riopelle, Paul-Emile Borduas, and Clarence Alphonse Gagnon. [Calgary CTV, La Presse]

 "Tate Really Does Seem to be Treating History With Contempt": So writes critic Jonathan Jones in an article decrying the gallery's wholesale neglect of pre-1800 art. "This is a curatorial choice, an expression of taste: to pretend otherwise is patronising," he notes. [Guardian

– RIP Artist and Writer Jackie McAllister: The influential New Yorker wrote extensively for publications like Artforum and Grand Street, exhibited widely at museums (mostly in Europe), and taught at New York's School of Visual Arts. "Jackie could speak of Baroque architecture, Henry Rollins, and NASCAR in the same breath," SVA MFA student Sam Swasey wrote in his remembrance. [Artforum]


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