NUDES FOR CHARITY?
New York watercolorist Donald Holden decided to turn his studio spring-cleaning into a charitable event by donating 150 nude drawings to the New Alternatives for Children foundation, a child-welfare agency devoted to disabled and chronically ill children. The benefit, arranged by executive director Arlene Goldsmith, was held June 11, 2001 at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York’s Chelsea art district, where for $300 couples received entry and their choice of nude. The junior benefit the same night allowed younger collectors admittance for $65 and a drawing for $150. The charity attracted 200 patrons and raised $26,500 for the foundation but barely made a dent in Holden’s vast archive of sketches, which dates back to the '60s. He told Artnet Magazine that he still had hundreds more nude drawings, just waiting for a good cause to snatch them up.
CHICAGO'S PUBLIC ART SCANDAL Michael Lash, director of Chicago's Public Art Program, is under fire for failing to keep accurate records of government money entrusted to his office to purchase art for municipal buildings. The Chicago Tribune speculates that since the implementation of the program 22 years ago, the amount of money the city should have collected may be as high as $15 million. Scott Hodes has been filing lawsuits for the past three years in order to obtain the exact figures from the city. Whether the program collected all its money and how it was used remains a mystery, but suspicions of misappropriation by Lash includes $249,000 that was handled like petty cash and an undocumented trip to Paris. Lash explained the financial mess by saying, "It's the city. We juggle money all the time."
HOUSTON MFA FLOODED
The Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston narrowly survived Allison, the tropical storm that flooded the Houston area of Texas last weekend causing an estimated $2 billion in damages. The administrative offices and reception area of the museum suffered damages, but the art remained unharmed.
ART AS APHRODISIAC?
Forget chocolate and oysters; all you need to "stimulate the erotic senses" is a trip to an art museum. In a study by the Institute of Psychoanalytical Psychiatry released last week in Rome, scientists found that art can serve as a powerful aphrodisiac. Out of 2,000 visitors exposed to Renaissance, Baroque and classical art, one-fifth were inspired to have a fleeting erotic encounter with a stranger, while coupled museum-goers felt an "amorous upsurge."
CANADIANS TO BOYCOTT KLIMT?
Striking employees of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa stood outside the museum and implored the public to boycott "Gustav Klimt: Modernism in the Making," the museum's new retrospective that opens today. The strike, now made up of 200 members, has continued for a month and no attempts of reconciliation have been made.