BIG BUCKS FOR MUSEUM CHIEFS
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has issued its annual survey of nonprofit salaries, and the big news seems to be that Metropolitan Museum of Art director Philippe de Montebello received $4.7 million in 2006 -- $557,342 in salary and benefits, plus a $4 million bonus, reportedly paid for guiding the museum through the post-9/11 period, overseeing a major expansion, and working past his 70th birthday [see Artnet News, Feb. 28, 2007] (faced with speculation in the press about his successor, de Montebello recently said that he had no plans to retire). At the Met, the chief investment officer, Steven Berstler, took home $646,947 for 2005-06. The Met’s annual income was put at $466.6 million.
Typically, the heads of hospitals and major universities dominate the top of the list, but six-figure salaries are common for art-world leaders as well. Museum of Modern Art head Glenn D. Lowry received $901,766 in compensation, according to the report. MoMA chief operating officer James Gara -- a lower-profile position, to be sure -- is listed at $475,000.
Peter C. Marzio, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, received $850,000 in compensation, a sum that includes a $400,000 bonus for overseeing the museum expansion. In 2005, Timothy Potts, then-director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, received $591,510 in compensation. Boston MFA head Malcolm A Rogers is listed at $529,219, while Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan is listed at $468,850.
Among the women, Anne d’Harnoncourt, CEO of the Philadelphia Museum, received $289,176, while Joanne Heyler, chief curator of the $387-million Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles, received $220,000 for 2006.
NEW STATUS SYMBOL: MY KIDS COLLECT ART
All but the youngest of supercollector Peter Brant’s nine children collect art, according to "Small Collectors," a report in the Sept. 14, 2007, issue of the Wall Street Journal by Kelly Crow on the growth of art collecting among young children of the art-loving rich. Fourteen-year-old Taylor Houghton favors "candy-themed" art, Crow writes, while 11-year-old Charlie Rosen goes to art auctions with his father, art collector Aby Rosen. Some dealers frown on the practice, but most are happy to see yet another collecting group take part in the booming contemporary art market. For details, see www.wsj.com
ARTISTS PRINT MONEY
With exchanges rates for the U.S. dollar dropping to the lowest level in recent memory, is it any surprise that artists are launching their own alternative economies? As part of "Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2007," a festival of contemporary art hosted by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) in Jamaica, Queens, Sept. 29, 2007-Jan. 12, 2008, artists Athena Robles and Anna Stein have created a custom currency for the area -- Jamaica Bucks -- redeemable at G & L Cajun Grill at Food Market (90-40 160th St), Java’s Brewin’ (153-01 Jamaica Ave), Gallega Deli (162-02 #4 Jamaica Ave), Nubian Heritage (155-03 Jamaica Ave) and World Wide 99c Plus (155-01 Jamaica Ave).
Part of a project called Counter Culture Cash, the Jamaica Bucks can be obtained at a public photo booth at the neighborhood’s 165th Street Mall, where Robles and Stein are paying willing participants five Jamaican Bucks for posing for a portrait. The portraits are to be exhibited in the JCAL gallery, along with works by about two dozen other artists, sited along Jamaica Avenue as part of the festival. For details, see www.jcal.org.
BARNETT NEWMAN STUDIO TO HARVARD
Abstract-Expressionist painter Barnett Newman’s studio materials -- his tools and supplies, damaged and unfinished paintings and multiples, drawings, sketches, notes and models, as well as paint trials and canvas fragments -- have been given to the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art (CTSMA) at the Harvard University Art Museums. The trove includes cardboard models of Broken Obelisk (1963) as well the artist’s paint-splattered studio hat and shoes. The materials were donated by the Barnett and Annalee Neuman Foundation, and complement the CTSMA’s existing archive of correspondence and other material.
ARTFORUM TOO HOT FOR CHINA?
The recent ShContemporary art fair in Shanghai was meant to thrust the Chinese art scene into the international spotlight, but it has simultaneously put some attention on the paranoia of the ruling regime, which tends to require that exhibitions be both politically and sexually discreet. One particular problem was the current issue of Artforum magazine, which authorities apparently considered subversive because of a photo of Ai Weiwei, the undeniable star of the current Documenta 12 exhibition in Kassel, flipping off the Tiananmen Square rostrum. Meanwhile, Art Asia Pacific magazine had to manually cut pages out of their magazine because of the censors. According to reports, dealers in the fair who felt the heat of censorship included Urs Meile -- which had to pull pieces by Wang Xingwei, apparently because one featured a "Chinese Hitler" character -- and Continua.
SWAB AND PREVIEW BERLIN TEAM UP
Preview Berlin, the two-year-old satellite fair to Artforum Berlin, is on the horizon, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2007. And the German fair -- whose participants include Birgit Ostermeier (Berlin), Keith Talent (London), Ching King Project (Los Angeles) and Priska C. Juschka Fine Art (New York), along with 50-odd other galleries -- has teamed up with the Spanish art fair Swab, to get some Hispano-German mojo going.
Earlier this year, Swab held its inaugural fair in Barcelona, and a team from Preview Berlin including director Martin Rinderknecht helped pick the invited galleries from Germany. Swab has returned the favor, selecting two Spanish galleries to participate in Preview Berlin: Galería ADN from Barcelona and Galería Maisterravalbuena from Madrid. The next Swab art fair is May 15-18, 2008.
Wellesley College’s Davis Museum reopens its doors on Sept. 19, 2007, after a year-long renovation, with "Global Feminisms," the queen-sized survey of work by women artists organized by the Brooklyn Museum, and an exhibition of drawings titled "Don’t Look," featuring works by Lee Bontecou, Willie Cole, R. Crumb, Marlene Dumas, Yayoi Kusama, Ernesto Neto, Tony Oursler, Roxy Paine, Danica Phelps, Gerhard Richter, Chun Seong, Rosemarie Trockel and Kara Walker, from the collection of Wellesley alumna Martina Yamin.
KAVI GUPTA TO LEIPZIG
Chicago dealer Kavi Gupta has opened a new space in East Germany. Dubbed Kavi Gupta Gallery / Leipzig, the gallery is located in the Spinnerei, a former cotton mill that is part of the creative hub of the renowned artist community, near both Eigen+Art and Galerie Dogenhaus. The new space kicks things off with exhibitions dedicated to Chicago artists Danielle Gustafson-Sundell and Sarah Nesbit.
STOCKHOLDER TAKES LUCELIA AWARD
Sculptor Jessica Stockholder has won the 2007 Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The annual prize, which carries a $25,000 purse, goes to an American artist younger than 50 who is deemed to have produced a "significant body of work," and is meant to encourage future experimentation.
This is the seventh time around for the Lucelia award, established in 2001. This month, the Smithsonian opens a special show titled "Celebrating the Lucelia Artist Award, 2001-2006," Sept. 21, 2007-June 22, 2008, focusing on highlights from the winners to date. In order, the Lucelia alumni are: Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation; Andrea Zittel; Kara Walker; Rirkrit Tiravanija; Liz Larner; and Jorge Pardo.
ROSE TO MENIL
Bernice Berend Rose has been named as the inaugural chief curator of the Menil Collection’s new Drawings Institute in Houston. Rose has until recently served as direction of drawings and special exhibitions at PaceWildenstein in New York, and was before that a long-time curator at Museum of Modern Art. The Drawing Institute will focus on collecting, researching and exhibiting modern and contemporary drawing, and already draws on the Menil’s collection of 1,200 20th-century drawings, watercolors and collages. Rose plans to split her time between New York and Houston. The appointment is effective Oct. 1, 2007.
NEW APPOINTMENTS AT HAYWARD, HAUS DER KUNST
Stephanie Rosenthal, curator of contemporary art at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, has been named chief curator in charge of the exhibition program at the Hayward Gallery in London. Ulrich Wilmes, currently deputy director at Cologne’s Museum Ludwig, has been selected to succeed Rosenthal as curator at the Haus der Kunst.