EASTON DEPARTS BROOKLYN MUSEUM
The Brooklyn Museum has lost another staffer to its controversial curatorial overhaul [see Artnet News, June 22, 2006.]. Elizabeth W. Easton, chair of the museum’s department of European painting and sculpture, and an 18-year veteran of the institution (she started there as an assistant curator), has resigned from her post. The move comes after museum director Arnold L. Lehman launched a "curatorial reorganization plan" early this summer that eliminated traditional, discipline-based departments in favor of streamlining the staff into two divisions devoted to collections (headed by chief curator Kevin Stayton) and exhibitions (headed by deputy director Charles Desmarais). The move drew criticism from the Association of Art Museum Curators, which Easton had served as founding director.
Among Easton’s major exhibitions are "The Intimate Interiors of Edouard Vuillard" (1990), "Nardo di Cione: The Reuniting of an Altarpiece" (2000) and "A Family Album: Brooklyn Collects" (2001); she is an authority on 19th-century picture frames. Her association with the museum continues while she organizes "From Bonnard to Vuillard: Painter-Photographers and the Snapshot," a show jointly sponsored with the Musée d’Orsay.
For now, Easton’s duties are being handled by associate curator Judith (Jude) Dolkart, who came to the museum six years ago from the Wolfsonian in Miami. Dolkart has overseen the reinstallation of the European paintings in the museum’s Beaux Arts Court and organized "Michelangelo of the Menagerie: Bronze Works by Antoine Louis Barye." She is currently at work on a show of James J. Tissot’s "Life of Christ" paintings from the museum collection.
As for the museum’s staff reorganization, it is still under way, and is expected to be completed by the end of September. Stay tuned.
SHEARER OUT AT CINCINNATI CAC
Linda Shearer, director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Art center since 2004, abruptly resigned last week. A respected museum hand -- director of the Williams College Museum of Art for 15 years and a curator at the Museum of Modern Art before that -- Shearer had most recently overseen exhibitions of Tony Oursler and SimpArch in the museum’s new lobby gallery, and also launched a $20-million fundraising campaign. Officially, Shearer "resigned to pursue other interests," but reading between the lines suggests an all-too-typical clash with some members of the museum board, including chairman Otto Budig, who suggested to the Cincinnati Inquirer that the CAC needed more "family friendly" programming.
BETSKY TO CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM
Aaron Betsky has been named director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, succeeding Timothy Rub, who was appointed to head the Cleveland Museum of Art last spring. Betsky had been director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute for six years, and curator of architecture and design at the San Francisco MOMA before that. Among his duties at the CAM are oversight of a planned $200-million expansion and renovation.
GETTY SPENT $10 MILLION ON CRISES: PAPER
The J. Paul Getty Museum has spent $10 million on lawyers, investigators and public relations specialists to disentangle itself from the high-profile scandals that have beset the museum over the past five years, according to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times. More than $4 million has gone to the Los Angeles law firm of Munger Tolles & Olsen, hired by the Getty board to investigate both the crisis over looted antiquities in the museum collection and the alleged expense-account misdeeds of former Getty CEO Barry Munitz. Munitz resigned in February, forgoing more than $2 million in severance pay and returning another $250,000 to the trust to settle all claims with it.
According to the Times, Munitz charged the Getty for 230 trips he took between January 1998, when he was appointed Getty CEO, and July 2005, trips that included cruises to Cuba, Greece, Croatia and Albania as well as three stays in 2004 at the luxurious La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs. The Getty also reportedly spent $1.7 million in defense of former curator Marion True, who is on trial in Italy on charges of conspiring to traffic in looted art, and $780,000 for a year’s advice from PR specialist Michael Sitrick.
GORMLEY IN BELGIUM
Galerie Xavier Hufkens in Brussels is launching the fall season with a major exhibition of new works by the much-heralded London-based figurative sculptor Antony Gormley, Sept. 14-Oct. 21, 2006. The show features several of Gormley’s signature figures assembled from steel blocks as well as examples of the "hive" figures made from dense tangles of steel wire, and includes several mixed-media drawings. Also on view at the gallery is a selection of black-and-white photographs by South Africa-based photographer Roger Ballen. For details, see www.xavierhufkens.com
JEANNIE FREILICH OPENS IN MANHATTAN
Art dealer Jeannie Freilich -- a longtime lieutenant at Marian Goodman Gallery -- opens Jeannie Freilich Fine Art at 22 East 72nd Street in New York with an exhibition titled "100 Artists - 100 Watercolors," Sept. 21-Oct. 28, 2006. The show spans several centuries, with works by artists ranging from Giuseppe Zocchi (1711-1767) and Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) to Gerhard Richter (b. 1932), and includes Indian and Persian miniatures as well as works made with unconventional materials like blood (by Jess von der Ahe) and beet juice (by Tam van Tran). For further details, call (212) 794-5220.
SOLOMON TO CHINATOWN
Los Angeles art dealer Thomas Solomon is moving his gallery to the city’s Chinatown district this fall, renting the Art Rental space beginning in October. First up is "Material Space," Oct. 28-Dec. 4, 2006, an exhibition of works by John Chamberlain, Alan Saret, Fred Sandback, Michael Gonzalez and Krysten Cunningham, followed by a second show in December-January. The Art Rental gallery was established by Daniel Hug and Joel Mesler, who invited galleries from outside the U.S. to mount shows there; participants have included IBID from London and Galerie Nagel from Germany.
WOMEN OF GRAFFITI ART
Abrams is publishing a massive tome devoted to women graffiti and street artists. Grafitti Women: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz features some 1,000 illustrations of works by Lady Pink, Miss 17, Nina Sasu, Peste and Swoon, among others. The book launch is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2006, at the Brooklyn Museum, coinciding with the institution’s current (and largely male-centric) show "Graffiti Basics," Sept. 6, 2006-Jan. 7, 2007, which presents graffiti works drawn from the collection of Sidney Janis.
POLLOCK-KRASNER GRANTS ANNOUNCED
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has announced the winners of fellowships for 2005-06, a total of 185 grantees who receive a total of $3,216,400 (an average of about $17,386), designed to cover the "personal and/or professional expenses" of each recipient for one year. Congratulations are in order for Judy Abbott, Hans Accola, Malgorzata Adamczak, Jan Albers, Steven Albert, Franklin Alvarez, Alzaruba, Eric Amouyal, Anne Appleby, Michel Archambault, Timothy Arzt, Shimon Attie, Carl Auge, Lucia Autorino-Salemme, Xenobia Bailey, James Barsness, David Baskin, Gary Batty, John Beard, Grzegorz Bienias, Willie Birch, Benedikt Birckenbach, Anna Campbell Bliss, Ada Bobonis, Barbara Brainard, Eric Bransby, Susan Brenner, David Brewster, Andrew Brott, Aaron Brown, Richard Brunner, Leonard Storey Bullock, Benjamin J. Butler, Theresa Byrnes, Yoan Capote, Stevens Jay Carter, Nicole Charbonnet, William A. Childress, Sonya Clark, Antonio Coro, Ivone Couto, Jamie Dalglish, Jack Daws, Stephen Paul Day, Ronald De Bloeme, Adrian Deckbar, Philip Delisle, James Descant, George Dombek, Peter Edlund, Christopher Evans, Rashida Ferdinand, Demian Flores, Peter Forbes, Bernadette Fox, Ivana Franke, Charles Frazier, Warner Friedman, Joe Fyfe, Frank Gaard, Christopher Gallego, Nicora Gangi, Aleksandar Garbin, Mitchell Gaudet, Justin Gibbens, Jan Gilbert, Lori Gordon Bay, Elliott Green, Vince Grimaldi, Katie Grinnan, Iva Gueorguieva, Fernando Gutierrez Cassinelli, Fred Gutzeit, Matthew Hagemann, Patrick Hall, Carol Hamoy, Cynthia Harper, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Jean-Pierre Hebert, Shigeko Hirakawa, Nicholas Hondrogen, Eric Hongisto, Moses Hoskins, Scott Hunt, Chris Jahncke, Patrick Johnson, Leeah Joo, Eric Paul Julien, Jenny Kahn, Rebecca Kamen, Young-Min Kang, Suparirk Kanitwaranun, Vadim Katznelson, Kurt Kauper, Tamiko Kawata, Elanit Kayne, Catherine Kehoe, Lori Kent, Kathryn Kenworth, Joseph Kight, Haegeen Kim, Andreas Kocks, Michele Kong, Igor Kozlovsky and Marina Sharapova, Catherine Kozyra, Anthony Krauss, Dominika Krechowicz, Gudrun Kristjansdottir, Zbigniew Kucia, Sun Kwak, Zoe Leonard, Willie Little, A. Mitchell Long, Fergus Martin, Miroslaw Maszlanka, Wolfgang Mayer, George McClements, David McDonald, John McDonald, Jane McNichol, Michael Meads, Tracy Miller, Heidi Mills, Anthony Mitri, Jaye Moon, Gordon Moore, Pamela Moore, Toby Mussman, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Eamon O'Kane, Elizabeth Olbert, Renato Orara, Deborah Oropallo, George Ortman, Ga Hae Park, Joseph Pearson, Junia Penna Belo, Sibylle Peretti, Mario Petrirena, Dorothy Powers, Shelley Reed, Lee Renninger, Velebit Restovic, Jim Richard, Charlotte Riley-Webb, Lydia Rubio, Kazz Sasaguchi, Karoline Schleh, Jeff Schmuki, Alice Schorbach, Holli Schorno, Gil Shachar, George Siejka, Howard Silverman, Geoffrey Smedley, Melissa Smith, Brian St. Cyr, Taro Suzuki, Ann Toebbe, Kyoko Tokumaru, Ted Vasin, Mark Dean Veca, Robert Warrens, John Willenbecher, Carl Joe Williams, Warner Williams, Michael Wyshock, Robert Yarber, Arngunnur Yr, Hong Zhang and Xiaodong Zhang.