Kathryn Hart - New Dawn - Venice Biennale

2015 in Review: Museums

  • December 29, 2015 13:41

  • Email
Installation view of the Edlis/Neeson Collection at Art Institute of Chicago, showing works by Jasper Johns (center) and Roy Lichtenstein (left).
via Twitter

The Observer takes a look at museum trends and news in 2015 with its list here, and we've added links and additional stories below.

- Openings and Closings: Cheers abounded for the Whitney move to New York City's Meat-Packing district, with inaugural exhibitions "American is Hard to See" and "Frank Stella" and its new Renzo Piano-designed building. Philanthropists Edythe and Eli Broad put their contemporary art on public display and The Broad lit up in LA. George Lucas fights legal battles to create his museum in Chicago. Tehran Contemporary Art Museum opened to reveal a world-class collection of modern art. Despite some crowds, Museum of Biblical Art in New York City is among the institutions to shutter.


- Expansions and Renovations. The Westmoreland Museum (now with the Scaife collection) and Cinicinnati Art Museum are among many museums with expanded gallery space. Crystal Bridges added a Frank Lloyd Wright House to its landscape. The Frick in NY and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh abandoned expansion plans.

- Big Gifts. A sampling: The $400 million Edlis-Neeson collection went to the Art Institute of Chicago; 850 works collectively given to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Centre Georges Pompidou came from Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner; and James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin gave a $200 million American art collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

On April 30, 2015, the Whitney Museum inaugurated the opening of its new home with a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Bill de Blasio, architect Renzo Piano, and Whitney leaders.
video still, Whitney Museum of American Art

- Scandals. San Francisco's de Young Museum seemingly fired a whistleblower after the institution's chief financial officer, Michele Gutierrez, lost her job. Gutierrez had filed a complaint over board president Dede Wilsey's alleged passing of a $450,000 payment to a former staffer without full board approval. Critics' disapproval reigned over the silly "Björk" show at MoMA.

- Restitution. Possible Nazi loot, and the provenance of objects in collections overall, were scrutinized a bit more at museums worldwide. The Norton Simon Museum will have to defend its ownership of a contested c.1530 Lucas Cranach the Elder diptych of Adam and Eve. The Toledo Museum of Art was among the institutions to return antiquites sourced from accused smuggler Subhash Kapoor, who stands trial in India.

- Tech. Some museums banned selfie sticks to avoid accidental damage to objects and people. Apps like WoofbertVR aim to make armchair viewing of museum collections possible while Spotzer is renamed Cuseum and adds info to the museum visitor's experience. Google Art Project picks up the pace inside museums, including the British Museum, but copyright issues blur the view of art.

Charles Courtney Curran, By the Lily Pond, 1908. Bequest of Richard Mellon Scaife; Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
Westmoreland Museum of American Art

- Breakage and Thefts. Schoolchildren break art in clumsy falls in museums from Israel to Taipei. It's been 25 years since the Gardner Museum heist, two named suspects are dead, but hope remains that the half-billion dollars worth of missing art will be found; video surveillance released. Dutch museum's stolen art held for "ransom" in Ukraine. Thieves ransacked a museum in Verona, Italy, making off with an estimated $16 million in artworks.

- Most Popular. The European Museum Forum named Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum the European Museum of the Year, but the Dutch may still need to share the Rothschild Rembrandts

Read more at Observer

  • Email


More News Feed Headlines

Head of Alexander the Great, dating back to around 300 B.C.

Dealer Sues For Seized Head of Alexander the Great

  • Courthouse News Service / November 14th, 2019

Safani Gallery, one of the oldest galleries of ancient art in the United States, filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a ...


Welsh Museum's Botticelli 'Copy' Is Authentic, Experts Say

  • Guardian / November 14th, 2019

What was thought to be a later copy of Botticelli's work is actually genuine, say a team of experts. A new episode ...

Ed Ruscha’s ”Hurting the Word Radio #2” sold for $52.5 million at Christie’s contemporary art auction Wednesday.

A Record for Ed Ruscha Stands Out in Fall Auction Series

  • New York Times / November 14th, 2019

The fall sales series of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art in New York was not chock-full of blue-chip ...

Venice on November 13, 2019

Major Flooding Temporarily Shuts Down the Venice Biennale, But the Show Will Go On

  • W Magazine / November 13th, 2019

Venice mayor Luigi Bragnaro declared a state of emergency after flood tides inundated the city on Tuesday. The result ...


Related Press Releases

Clarke Auction - Sunday November 24th - ClarkeNY.com
Schwenke Auctioneers - November Fine Estates Auction - November 20th

ARTFIXdaily Artwire