The Lie That Launched the Barnes Foundation Move, an Alleged Rothko Impaling, and More Must-Read Art News

The Lie That Launched the Barnes Foundation Move, an Alleged Rothko Impaling, and More Must-Read Art News
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

– Former Barnes CEO Lets the Cat Out of the Bag: No sooner has the Barnes Foundation settled into its cozy new Philadelphia digs then a new scandal erupts. Kimberly Camp, who was the Foundation's CEO and president from 1998-2005 and an ardent supporter of its charter-busting move to central Philadelphia, where it opened in May, now claims that the dire financial situation that was used as a pretext for the relocation was pure fabrication. "The Barnes Foundation had a cash surplus and we had no debt — none," she wrote on her blog. "But, saying so made the rescue so much more gallant." [LAT]

– Fallen Rothko Is Subject of SuitLloyd's of London is suing the art handler Crozier Fine Arts for allegedly damaging Mark Rothko's "Untitled, 1948" while trying to install it in the apartment of the painter's son, Christopher Rothko. Crozier's handlers neglected to remove all the furniture from the room before installation, according to the claim, so when the abstract canvas fell from the wall — yikes — it was impaled by a piece of furniture below. [Courthouse News]

– Florence's Contemporary Art Museum Closes: The only publicly funded contemporary art space in the art history-filled city, Ex3 Toscana Contemporanea, quietly closed its doors in mid-June when it ran out of money. The institution had suffered from chronic underfunding since opening in 2009 — its 2011 subsidy of €85,000 ($107,000) wasn't nearly enough to cover its €200,000 ($251,000) operating costs for the year — and its shuttering is seen as a symptom of Florence's disorganized and tourism-focused cultural program. [TAN]

– Pakistani Cultural Heritage in Peril: The Pakistani government is not doing enough to protect the country's artworks, according to an editorial in a leading daily there. Works by Saeed AkhtarColin David, and others are beginning to disintegrate. "Pages after pages of appeals and warnings have gone unheeded, leading to the assumption that the government is complacent as these art works slowly die," the newspaper said. [Zee News]

– Preserving Outdated Technology Noises: Since January Brendan Chilcutt has been adding recordings to his Museum of Endangered Sounds, a Web-based institution that aims to preserve the sounds produced by now-antiquated technologies like portable CD players, rotary phones, CD-ROM drives, and the original Game Boy. "Where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that," asks Chilcutt. "And tell me: Who will play my Game Boy when I’m gone?" [WaPo]

– Artist Commandeers Libyan Migrant Ship: In her forthcoming piece of truly Melvillian performance art, British artist Lucy Wood will navigate a small ship that was used by Libyans to escape their country's revolution last year and reach Italy on an epic journey of her own from the Sicilian island of Lampedusa to London. She sets sail in April 2013 and expects to land in the U.K. the following month, chronicling the entire trip — which marks the fourth piece in her series on immigration "Distant Neighbors" — on her blog "The Chronicles of Lampedusa." [TAN]

– Grayson Perry Falls Foul in Essex: Local councillors in Essex have rejected a proposal for a two-bedroom holiday home designed with input from potter Grayson Perry for writer Alain de Botton's "Living Architecture" project. Plans for the house included a gallery and living space open to the public, external walls clad with ceramic tiles, and a series of cast metal sculptures on the roof. The duo plan to submit a more detailed plan to satisfy locals. [Evening Standard

– U.K. and Ireland Fight for Joshua Reynolds Painting: Horse breeder John Magnier bought Reynolds's famous portrait "Omai" in 2002, and lent it the National Gallery of Ireland for over six years thanks to a temporary export license, typically granted to works included in traveling exhibitions. But U.K. culture minister Ed Vaizey will not grant a second temporary license for the coveted canvas, which he says "is an outstanding work of art which has already spent more than five years overseas and I do not want to see the regime being undermined by repeated use of temporary licenses." [Guardian]

– Holocaust Museum Softens LanguageYad Vashem, the cultural center for Holocaust studies in Jerusalem, changed the wording on an explanatory wall panel to incorporate views of those who defend the WWII-era Pope Pius XII, long a figure of contention between the Vatican and Israel. The text now notes that the Pope's defenders believe his "neutrality prevented harsher measures" against the deportation of Jews. [LAT]

– Boca Raton Museum Staffs Up: The Florida institution has filled two newly-created positions. Marisa J. Pascucci, formerly curator of American art at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, has been appointed curator of contemporary art, while Kathleen Goncharov is the museum's new curator of exhibitions and audience engagement. [Sun-Sentinel]


A clip showing a 2010 opening of Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs at the (now-closed) Ex3 Toscana Contemporanea in Florence, in 2010



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