ART WORLD POLITICS ON SUPER TUESDAY
As voters throng to the polls for Super Tuesday, we thought we’d take a look at FundRace 2008, the Huffington Post’s compilation of donations to political candidates. In New York City, about $26.3 million has gone to Democratic candidates, and $8.2 million to Republicans. Herewith, a hurried look at campaign giving by the Manhattan art-world, courtesy records filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Some donors just like Democrats. Agnes Gund, the president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, gave money to Hillary Clinton ($3,000), John Edwards ($2,000), Barack Obama ($2,000) and Bill Richardson ($2,000). Art dealer Jeanne Rohatyn ($4,300), who has two gallery spaces in different parts of town, gave $4,600 to Clinton and $2,300 to Obama. And SoHo art dealer Ronald Feldman, a longtime Democratic strategist, gave $4,600 to Clinton and $4,600 to Edwards.
Others are more bipartisan, if that is the word. Whitney Museum power trustee Leonard Lauder gave $4,600 to Rudy Giuliani and $1,700 to John McCain, and $4,200 to Hillary Clinton and $2,000 to Joe Biden.
Donors to Clinton include art collector Peter Brant ($4,600), Christie’s contemporary art expert Amy Cappellazzo ($4,600), Chelsea art dealer John Cheim ($4,600), art dealer Arnold Glimcher and his wife Mildred ($4,600 each), artist Ruth Hardinger ($3,000), art dealer Matthew Marks ($1,000), Christie’s expert Laura Paulson, ($4,600), photographer Clifford Ross ($4,600), art collector and sometime curator Beth Rudin deWoody ($4,600), art dealer Lawrence Salander ($2,300), artist Edwina Sandys ($4,600) and Chelsea art dealer Sundaram Tagore ($2,500).
Donors to Obama include Cecily Brown ($500), Chuck Close ($2,300), Eric Fischl ($1,000), art writer Amy Newman ($3,450), art collector Peter Norton ($4,600), Metro Pictures proprietor Janelle Reiring ($2,328) and Chelsea dealer Andrea Rosen ($2,300).
Donors to John McCain include William Acquavella ($4,600) and MoMA patron Donald Marron ($4,600). Art collector Aby Rosen donated $4,500 to John Edwards, and dealer Larry Gagosian gave $4,600 to Christopher Dodd.
MET HIRES HOT HEADHUNTER
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has hired the New York-based executive search firm Phillips Oppenheim to assist in its search for a successor to its beloved director, Philippe de Montebello, who says he’s leaving the museum by the end of the year, or when a replacement is located, whichever comes first. Although traditionalists in the museum world often consider search firms to be founts of ignorance, they might commend the transparency of this particular announcement. The press release identifies Laurie Nash and Sarah James as principals in charge of the search, and even gives a contact email of email@example.com. The release stops short, however, of listing qualifications for the job or soliciting recommendations of candidates.
Phillips Oppenheim, which was founded in 1991, specializes in nonprofit organizations. The firm helped the Indianapolis Museum of Art hire former Whitney Museum head Maxwell Anderson as its new director in 2006, and has searches under way for new directors for the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. In October 2007, the Guggenheim Museum announced that it was employing Phillips Oppenheim to locate a successor for Lisa Dennison. For job-hunting museum directors, it sounds like one-stop shopping! Stay tuned.
"ART W" AT D.C. FAIR
Returning after a successful launch in 2007, artDC, the first commercial art fair in the nation’s capital, is set to go up again, May 16-18, 2008. Galleries already reported to be on board are Baro Cruz (São Paulo), Cernuda Arte (Miami), Frey Norris (San Francisco), Galeria Virgilio (São Paulo), iPreciation (Singapore), Jonathon Cooper (London), KN (Chicago), Paulo Darze Galeria de Arte (Salvador, Brazil), Robert Brown (D.C.) and Sundaram Tagore (New York).
The fledgling fair is touting a focus on women artists via its "Art W" initiative this year, endorsed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and co-organized by New York’s A.I.R. gallery. Special signage and programming at the fair will highlight group shows or individual women artists at the participating galleries.
HUBER OUT AT SHCONTEMPORARY
In an otherwise unremarkable press release touting the 2008 return of the ShContemporary art fair to the Shanghai Exhibition Center, Sept. 10-13, 2008, the organizers have announced that Pierre Huber is stepping aside as director of the fair, at least until the controversy surrounding him is resolved. Though the release doesn’t specify the controversy, Huber took heat for selling off some of his contemporary art holdings at Christie’s New York last year -- some of the dealers who had sold him the works complained that Huber had promised to donate them to museums -- and Huber is currently engaged in a dispute with Paris art dealer Enrico Navarra [see Artnet News, Jan. 29, 2008]. Huber also was the subject of a French TV documentary that showed him visiting artist’s studios and pressuring them into selling him their art at low prices, according to Flash Art. Huber co-founded ShContemporary with Lorenzo Rudolf.
PSYCHEDELIC TROVE FOR DENVER
Just in time for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) has acquired a collection of ca. 875 psychedelic concert posters from the years 1965-1975. Originally commissioned by promoters like Chet Helms and Bill Graham, the trove includes designs by top figures in the psychedelic art movement of the 1960s, including Rick Griffin, Gary Grimshaw, Alton Kelley, Bonnie MacLean, Victor Moscoso, Stanley "Mouse" Miller and Wes Wilson. The posters were acquired from Boulder collector David Tippit, a former research scientist who amassed the stash over 25 years. The acquisition was part gift and part purchase, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
NEW WORK AT THE PHILLIPS
This week the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., opens an exhibition devoted to showing off an impressive array of 115 new art acquisitions. Dubbed "Degas to Diebenkorn: The Phillips Collects," Feb. 9-May 25, 2008, the presentation includes works by Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Pierre Bonnard, Alexander Calder, Harry Callahan, William Christenberry, Edgar Degas, Richard Diebenkorn, William Eggleston, Barbara Hepworth, Howard Hodgkin, Hans Hofmann, Ellsworth Kelly, Paul Klee, Robert Motherwell, Elizabeth Murray, Susan Rothenberg, August Sander, Sean Scully, Aaron Siskind, David Smith, Edouard Vuillard, Brett Weston, Edward Weston and Minor White.
CONDO BLIGHT FOR OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
The Seattle Art Museum’s $85-million Olympic Sculpture Park, which opened last year to much fanfair [see "Olympic Metal," Feb. 13, 2007], is sparking exactly the kind of luxury development one might expect from a major public amenity. Seattle developer Martin Selig plans a 14-story luxury condo tower in a plot just 15 feet from the edge of the park, close to the location of Richard Serra’s Wake, one of the park’s signature pieces. The plan is being greeted with resignation by the SAM staff and many complaints from local activists. Selig was a prominent opponent of plans to expand the city’s public transportation monorail, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the project, according to the Seattle Times.
ART SHOP FOR DAMIEN HIRST
Damien Hirst is opening a store on Marylebone High Street in London’s West End. Called Other Criteria, which is the name of his online multiples operation, the new art shop is located between a Browns Bride store and a Oui-Set women’s fashion boutique. Other Criteria specializes in items like a £250,000 gold charm bracelet featuring different types of pills, a £10,000 set of 12 Hirst-designed plates and the Happy Head, a £25,000 plastic skull covered in gloss paint. At lower price points, the store carries T-shirts, postcards, plates and books dedicated to all things Hirst. Also available are multiples by fellow artists such as Michael Joo, Matt Collishaw and Thomas Scheibitz. The shop is slated to open in the spring.
MR. ROGERS SCULPTURE PLANNED FOR PITTBURGH
A $3-million sculptural monument to children’s television legend Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers, has been approved for Pittsburgh’s North Shore Riverfront Park. Dubbed the "Tribute to Children" memorial, the sculpture joins a World War II monument as one of the last public memorials allowed in the park by the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority.
BONN TO WAVE HILL
Claudia Bonn has been named as executive director of Wave Hill, the 28-acre public garden and cultural located in the Bronx. Currently serving as executive director the Film Society at Lincoln Center, Bonn succeeds Kate French, who has led Wave Hill since its opening 17 years ago.