ROTHSCHILD GRANTS, 1998
The Judith Rothschild Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 to 20 projects involving under-recognized, recently deceased artists. The list: Forrest Bess (1911-77), $20,000 for a documentary film by Chuck Smith and Ari Marcopoulos; Nell Blane (1922-96), $10,000 toward a monograph by Martica R. Sawin; David Budd (1927-91), $16,375 for an exhibition at the Ringling School in Sarasota; Jean Charlot (1898-1979), $13,080 for a catalogue of the drawing collection at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Jay DeFeo (1929-89), $15,000 toward a book of essays published by University of California Press and $10,000 for acquisitions of her work by the Honolulu Contemporary Museum; Dorothy Dehner (1901-94), $7,500 to conserve sculptures; Elaine de Kooning (1917-89), $10,000 towards a book by Rose Slivka; Beauford Delaney (1901-79), $20,000 towards an acquisition by the Philadelphia Museum; Ray Johnson (1927-95), $15,000 towards an exhibition organized by Donna De Salvo at the Wexner Center; Nathan Lerner (1913-97), $15,000 towards a traveling exhibition and catalogue; Ree Morton (1936-77), $20,000 for an exhibition at the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Ver., as well as $10,000 towards an acquisition by the L.A. County Museum; Kenzo Okada (1902-82), $21,000 towards a retrospective at the University of Iowa Museum; Nellie Mae Rowe (1900-82), $18,150 for an exhibition at the Museum of American Folk Art; Leon Polk Smith, $15,000 for a documentary by Jerry Gambone; Paul Thek (1922-88), $13,000 for acquisitions by the Museum of Modern Art; Jack Tworkov (1900-82), $13,500 for publication of his writings; H.C. Westermann (1922-81), $25,000 for a catalogue raisonne in conjunction with a retrospective at the Chicago MCA; David Wojnarowicz (1954-92), $20,000 for an acquisition by the Jersey City Museum. The selection committee included Hirshhorn Museum chief James Demetrion, artist Ellsworth Kelly, San Francisco MoMA photo curator Sandra Phillips, NYU art historian Robert Rosenblum and MoMA curator Robert Storr.
ART CONTROVERSY IN NEW ZEALAND
Obscene calls and protests have greeted the opening of the new $185-million Museum of New Zealand in Wellington, N.Z., thanks to a show organized by the British Council called "Pictura Britannica." The offenders: Tania Kovats' Virgin in a Condom and Sam Taylor-Woods' photograph of a contemporary Last Supper with a topless woman in Jesus' place. One man was arrested after breaking the Kovats display case and socking a museum staffer.
PROBLEM WITH TOILETS AT THE GETTY
Its $7-billion endowment isn't buying the Getty Center any respect! The latest update on the new L.A. tourist mecca, carried on the Associated Press as well as CNN, has it that the Getty Museum doesn't have enough bathrooms. There are no restrooms in the North or South Pavilions, and only one small set in the West Pavilion. "This is one of those unfortunate things that can happen in large construction projects," said Getty publicist Barbara Whitney. Don't count on Port-o-sans, she said. They wouldn't fit in.
BOMBS AWAY FOR TUJUNGA ARTIST
Los Angeles artist Martin Vogel, 33, found a pipe bomb in his garage after opening a show at the McGroarty Art Center, Mar. 7-Apr. 25, 1998. The LAPD Bomb Squad detonated the explosive in his garage, damaging the building and briefly knocking out power to the area. Vogel, who was paralyzed in a 1988 motorcycle accident and now uses a wheelchair, told the Los Angeles Times, "Someone's trying to get me in trouble."
NEA ARTS REACH
In response to criticism that its programs favor big-city elitists, the National Endowment for the Arts has introduced "Arts Reach," a pilot program to give small grants to the arts in underserved states. In fiscal 1998 the program will distribute $20 million, largely in planning and technical assistance funds. For more info go to the NEA website at http://arts.endow.gov.
BANK BOSTON SENDS DEPOSITORS TO MUSEUMS
For the month of May, visitors to nine Boston museums -- including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Gardener Museum -- get in free if they show a BankBoston ATM or debit card. The bank has committed $525,000 to sponsoring the program.
NGA GETS BOW-TIE
Among the winners of the 1998 BOTI (Business on the Internet) awards presented by CMP Network Computing and InternetWeek (whoever they are) is the National Gallery of Art, whose website was cited for best "Web-to-Legacy Ap." Whew!
SCHOONHOVEN MURAL UNVEILED
Famed Los Angeles muralist Terry Schoonhoven has unveiled a new mural in the lobby of the Police and Fire Headquarters in L.A. The mural depicts police officers and firefighters at work. "It's a gorgeous piece of art," Fire chief Mike Davis told the L.A. Times.
ILSE BING, 1900-1998
Ilse Bing, 98, avant-garde photographer known for solarized images of Paris street scenes at night, died in Manhattan on Mar. 10, 1998. She is represented by Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York, whose retrospective of her work opens Mar. 26.
RUDOLF BARANIK, 1920-1998
Rudolf Baranik, 77, painter, writer and teacher known for his political activism and expressionistic black canvases (some based on the human form, as the "Napalm Elegies" series made during the Vietnam War), died of a heart attack at his home near Santa Fe, N.M., on Mar. 6. He was a founder of the Artists Meeting for Cultural Change in the 1970s and the Artists Call against U.S. Intervention in Central America in the 1980s. He taught at Pratt Institute (1966-91) and periodically published entries in his Dictionary from the 24th Century. He was husband of the painter May Stevens.
BEATRICE WOOD, 1893-1998
Beatrice Wood, 105, bohemian ceramist known for her mastery of the iridescent luster glaze technique, who lived and worked in Ojai, Calif., as a devotee of Krishnamurti, died at her home on Mar. 12. Part of the New York Dada group, she founded Blind Man magazine with Marcel Duchamp and Henri-Pierre Roche in 1917. She was also the model for the Jean Moreau character in Francoise Truffaut's 1961 film, Jules et Jim, and wrote a 1985 autobiography titled I Shock Myself. Her retrospective opened last year at the American Craft Museum in New York and next appears at the Lake Worth (Fla.) Museum on Mar. 27.
ALBERTO SARTORIS, 1901-98
Alberto Sartoris, 97, Swiss avant-garde architect who was a contemporary of Le Corbusier, died on Mar. 8 in Switzerland. He taught in Lausanne and published several books, including Elements of Functional Architecture.