1998 ART SHOW
The ultra-swanky Art Show put on by the ultra-swanky Art Dealers Association of America opens Feb. 19-23 at the Seventh Regiment Armory at Park Avenue and 67th Street in New York. Over 60 art galleries will participate, with proceeds of the $10 admission price earmarked for the Henry Street Settlement. Also benefiting the Lower East Side social-service agency: an auction of cakes designed by 10 contemporary artists (reproduced by master bakers) and the drawings for them (by silent bid). The artists: Fernando Botero, Louise Bourgeois, Viola Frey, Red Grooms, Susan Rothenberg, Kenny Scharf, George Segal, Wayne Thiebaud, Donald Sultan and William Wegman.
Here's a bit of art-related trivia to add to Titanic-mania -- the movie was nominated for 14 Oscars today, the most for any movie since All About Eve in 1951. The character of Rose as an old woman, played by Oscar nominee Gloria Stuart, is based on 104-year-old Dada ceramics sculptor Beatrice Wood. After director James Cameron met Wood, he chose Kate Winslett for the female lead because she resembles Wood as a young woman. Of course, Wood didn't actually go down on the Titanic....
D'AMATO SLAMS MUSEUMS
The ongoing crisis over Nazi war booty in art museums is giving right wingers new opportunities for culture-bashing. Back on Jan. 9, the New York Post editorial page referred to a mysterious cabal of "art-world esthetes who may believe the highfalutin' nature of their work gives them special license to shield the provenance of stolen goods from civilized scrutiny." More recently, on Feb. 9, New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato issued a blanket accusation that museums are relying on "legal fictions" to avoid returning looted art. D'Amato plans to introduce legislation requiring an audit of the holdings some 220 U.S. museums by the World Jewish Congress art commission, according to Reuters.
JAILBIRDS PREFER ANTIQUES
The television program Antiques Roadshow, in which experts discuss and appraise a broad range of antiques brought in by TV viewers, is among the most popular programs in British jails, reports the Times of London. Thieves apparently use the show to educate themselves. Britain has annual losses of $830,000,000 in stolen paintings, furniture and jewelry.
PHOTO SHOW '98
The Photography Show 98 opens at the New York Hilton Feb. 13-15, 1998, with wares from more than 80 members of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of International Photography Art Dealers. Daily admission is $15. A free panel, titled "Creating & Collecting: It Takes Two," is scheduled for Feb. 14 at 9:30 a.m.; moderator is The Photograph Collector editor Stephen Perloff with photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, National Museum of American Art director Elizabeth Broun and curator Merry Foresta and collectors Robinson and Nancy Grover.
WEXNER CENTER SYMPOSIUM
In conjunction with the three-museum exhibition "Fabrications," the Wexner Center in Columbus, Oh., is presenting a day-long symposium, "Fabrications: Fully Assembled," on Sat. Feb. 14, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Lots of architects and architectural curators will be speaking. Admission is $15; for more info call (614) 292-3535.
FED ARTS FUNDS '99
As part of his $1.7 trillion budget for fiscal 1999, President Bill Clinton requested $136 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. The prez sought the same amount last year, the House of Representatives voted to eliminate NEA entirely and the Senate pushed through a compromise budget of $98 million.
BUILDING MUSEUM CHIEF TO RESIGN
The Washington Post reports that Susan Henshaw Jones, director and president of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., plans to resign sometime this year to spend more time with her two children. The 12-year-old museum, housed in the landmark Old Pension Building, had a 1997 budget of $5 million.
THE ART OF GETTY PARKING Getty Museum director John Walsh says the Getty Center plans to build 150 more parking spaces to placate angry residents of nearby Bel-Air and Brentwood, who are whining that the flood of visitors to the new art center is clogging the streets of their wealthy neighborhoods. The center is also working to provide additional bus service and more parking near the site, Walsh said. The City Council has restricted parking on city streets near the center to two hours at a time.
NUDES AT BONHAMS Bonhams Knightsbridge in London has scheduled a special Feb. 12 Valentine's Day auction dedicated to "Nudes in Art." The 120-lot sale of modestly priced works features such subjects as "awakening," "the young rose," "a nymph on the rocks," "le repos," "the gypsy girl," "Susanna at her bath," "mermaids," "the inquisitive squirrel," "Lady Godiva," "the search for beauty" and "female nude at the entrance to a cave."
HARLEY: 5,000 YEARS
You don't have to wait for the Guggenheim Museum's forthcoming "The Art of the Motorcycle," scheduled to open June 26, 1998, to see hogs in art's hallowed halls. Jet over to London for "The Art of the Harley," a survey of Harley customizing from 1949 to the present organized by Conrad Bodman at the Barbican Art Gallery. On view: Tank Ewischek's fuchsia pink Flight DeVille, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons' candy eggplant HoggZZilla, Andy Peter's Elegante, Arlen Ness' purple and gold-leaf double-engine Two Bad and a replica of the Captain America stars and stripes chopper from Easy Rider.
DEMONTE & MCGOWIN WIN AWARD
New York artists Claudia DeMonte and Ed McGowin have been selected for the 16th annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design for their sculpture Wheel of Justice for the Queens Supreme Court in Jamaica, N.Y. The sculpture is an eight-foot-wide bronze medallion with a bas-relief narrative describing the court process and inscribed with a quotation from Benjamin Cardoza, "Danger Invites Rescue," that sits on a granite base in a plaza with seating inscribed with the names of the towns that make up the borough of Queens.
CHIRAC GIVES IT BACK
French president Jacques Chirac has returned to Mali a 12th-century pottery ram that he received from an aide as a 64th-birthday present. Mali's president, archeologist Alpha Oumar Konare, said that the ram originated in illegal diggings in the ancient Malian town of Jenne.
The Asia Society in New York has launched a Website at www.asiasociety.org, featuring information on exhibitions and educational activities as well as a range of interactive features, including an animated Shockwave tour of the Rockefeller collection, a discussion forum moderated by Asia Society staff and an online store featuring over 7,500 English-language books on Asia.
The New York gallery Associated American Artists, known for exhibiting works by among others, Matthieu, Helen Frankenthaler and Carlo Maria Mariani, has launched its own Website at www.aaartists.com. Check it out.
SEX MUSEUM FOR PARIS
The Musee d'Art Erotique has opened on the Boulevard de Clichy in Paris' red-light Pigalle district. Among its presentations are contemporary works by 70-year-old Englishman David Russell and pencil drawings by 32-year-old Croat artist Davor Vrankic as well as various ancient artifacts.