Your Weekly Art News: From the Margins to the Headlines (Nov. 27-Dec. 4)


Beatrix Ruf. Photo: Michael Stewart/Getty Images

  • What happens when curators moonlight as art consultants? A line gets blurred between public museum governance, profit, and individual self-interest, as per Artnet:

Beatrix Ruf—one of the most influential curators working today—sent shockwaves through the art world when she abruptly resigned as director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum in September. Her departure followed a series of investigative reports in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad that raised questions about her ties to private collectors, an art advisory company she operated while leading the museum, and other potential conflicts of interest.

As the prices for contemporary art have ballooned, a growing number of wealthy people are willing to pay top dollar for advice from curators working at prestigious and tastemaking institutions. Indeed, the New York Times reported that Swiss collector Michael Ringier paid Ruf 1 million Swiss Francs ($1 million) as a “thank-you gift” for their 20-year working relationship before she arrived in Amsterdam.

But the Ruf imbroglio has also made some reexamine the relationships that have long existed between collectors and curators. In light of the rising stakes, do the old rules still apply? And how closely, were they ever really followed in the first place?

  • Instagram reveals its most popular posts of 2017, also revealing the most Instagrammed museums:
  • A $6 million dollar gift intends to bring greater diversity to American museums:

Thanks to a combined $6 million gift from the Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, the effort to diversify museums’ staff gotten a big boost. The Initiative is funding 22 institutions around the country to enact programs that aim to change the largely homogeneous and majority-white composition of their leadership ranks.

  • #MeToo protest starts at the Met Breuer at the opening of an exhibition by the late Raghubir Singh:

  • A Banksy mural is restored in New Orleans, as per Claire Voon in Hyperallergic:

Banksy, “Looters” (2008), as photographed in New Orleans in 2008 (photo via Wikipedia Commons)

A mural Banksy painted in New Orleans that was defaced multiple times has been restored, having undergone careful conservation as if it were a centuries-old fresco. “Looters,” as the work has come to be called, was removed from its original site on the exterior wall of a warehouse in 2014 and placed in the hands of local conservator Elise Grenier, who has worked in Italy for most of her career, on sites ranging from the Florence Cathedral to the Badia Fiorentina.

Your Weekly Art News: From the Margins to the Headlines by Dorian Batycka (Associate Editor, D/Railed Contemporary Art Mag)

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