Adele Chatfield-Taylor Retires from American Academy in Rome

ROME – Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president and chief executive of the American Academy in Rome, announced on Thursday that she would step down at the end of next year. She has been at the helm of the independent research institution reports the New York Times. Chatfield-Taylor is a historic preservationist by training. The American Academy in Rome, was founded in the 1894 by the architect Charles Follen McKim as a place where the architects could learn classical architecture. It is now known for its Rome Prize given to scholars in the humanities, archaeologists, artists, preservationists, designers, writers, and composers. William B. Hart, chairman of the academy’s board of trustees, said a search committee is expected to name a new president next year.

November 19, 2012

Latvian Arts Academies Vote No Confidence Against Minister Robert Kilis

RIGA – Latvian fine arts and performing arts academies and colleges have issued a statement of no confidence against the Education and Science minister Robert Kilis. They demand that he step down for being incapable of imitating the sorely needed reform process. The Baltic Course reports that representatives from the Latvian Academy of Art, Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, and Latvian Culture College said that the decision was taken because key matters in higher education are being dealt with in an amateurish manner. The academy’s rector Janis Silins said, “All of these statements about ratings and languages, which are totally inadequate, about property changes, about primary education––they are being issued one after another and give the impression of activity, but actually no problem is reviewed and analyzed consistently, and no thoroughly-researched reasoning offered.” This will surely play into the Education and Science Ministry’s assessment of these programs under their policy of discontinuing state funding for 19.4 percent or 162 higher education study programs that are of poor quality.

November 14, 2012

Parsons to Re-Establish Presence in Paris

PARIS — When the doors open next fall the Paris campus of Parsons the New School for Design, the program will be both the oldest and newest overseas branch of an American university. Frank Alvah Parsons, the director of what was then known as the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, initiated a Paris program in 1921. (The school was renamed for him in 1941.)

The school’s most enduring physical symbol, the Parsons table, with its characteristic square legs placed flush with the ends of the tabletop, was the product of a drafting exercise at the Paris campus taught by the interior designer Jean-Michel Frank. The French program closed temporarily during World War II; but when Parsons merged with the New School for Social Research in 1970, the Paris branch was part of the deal.

Over time the relationship between the home campus in Greenwich Village in New York and the Paris program grew distant. “It became more of a licensing agreement,” Joel Towers, the school’s executive dean, said by telephone from New York. In 2010 the former licensee changed its name to the Paris College of Art, and the New School was free to return to Paris under the Parsons name. The new campus, which will be introduced officially at a reception at the Palais de Tokyo on Nov. 29, is the first step in what New School’s president, David E. Van Zandt, describes as “a much more fluid” approach to international education.

Along the Rue Saint-Roch, the Parsons Paris School of Art and Design will eventually accommodate 300 to 500 students, who will be free to begin their studies there or in New York, and also to spend time at associated campuses in Shanghai and Mumbai. The school will offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of art, fashion, design and business disciplines, with classes in English.

November 14, 2012

AXA Says Estimated Losses in Chelsea Are Around $40 Million

NEW YORK—Immediately following Hurricane Sandy, art insurer AXA was hesitant to put a value on the damage to art for its 300 clients in Chelsea and Lower Manhattan. Now, in a press release, President and CEO Christiane Fischer has said “our estimated losses in Chelsea stand at $40 million.” This estimate follows the organization’s checking in with all its clients and evaluating the conservation work that could be done on the pieces that water had touched. Given that AXA insures some $1 billion of art in Chelsea alone, the neighborhood seems to have indeed dodged a bullet, not that that’s any consolation to those who did lose art.

In the release, Ms. Fischer went on to say, “The magnitude of the situation is completely manageable for AXA Art and we were totally prepared to handle such a challenge. Fortunately, our clients took a lot of preventative action before the storm hit the region. In addition, AXA Art was able to start the recovery actions as early as the morning after the storm.” Total losses in Chelsea are likely far higher than that $40 million figure since some galleries were covered by insurers other than AXA and still others were not insured against flood damage at all.

Rebuilding efforts in Chelsea are well underway, and Friday saw a good number of openings there. How the art loss will affect the neighborhood remains to be seen.

November 14, 2012

Theaster Gates Wins Vera List Prize

NEW YORK—The New School has chosen art world darling Theaster Gates as the recipient of its inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, a $15,000 award that will be given to an artist every two years. The prize includes a long-term commitment by the school to aid the winner with upcoming works. Chicago-based Gates will present a seminar about his “Dorchester Projects,” an ongoing transformation of a group of properties on Chicago’s South Side, at the New School in 2013

November 13, 2012

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Gets $2 Million

CHICAGO—The Midwestern contemporary art museum has received $2 million from collectors and board members Marilyn and Larry Fields to endow a curator position. The newly financed post is currently held by Naomi Beckwith, who joined the institution in 2011. This is MCA Chicago’s second major gift in as many months. In October, Helen and Sam Zell donated $10 million to the museum.

November 12, 2012

Footless Cambodian Statue Continues to Dog Sotheby’s

CAMBODIA—The publicly-traded auction house may have had its best sale ever last night, but it’s having a tougher time in the courtroom. Federal prosecutors trying to seize a multimillion-dollar 10th-century Cambodian statue have accused the auctioneers of colluding with the item’s owner to hide information that it was stolen from a temple in 1972. According to court papers, Sotheby’s requested the owner submit an inaccurate affidavit to American customs officials. The house denies the allegations.

November 12, 2012

Performance Art Flashmob Aims to Prevent Moore Sculpture Sale

LONDON—The outspoken artist Bob and Roberta Smith organized a flashmob demonstration outside Tower Hamlets council yesterday to protest its controversial plan to sell Henry Moore’s public sculpture “Draped Seated Woman.” Seated women, draped in green outfits to resemble the bronze statue, struck poses reminiscent of Moore’s figure outside the council, which hopes to raise funds for key services by selling the beloved public artwork.

November 10, 2012

Bank Takes Over Deutsche Guggenheim

BERLIN—Germany’s largest bank has announced that it will continue to run the Berlin contemporary art museum that it oversaw for 15 years alongside New York’s Guggenheim Foundation, which pulled out in Feburary. The new institution will be renamed the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle and operate under new management. Rather than serve as a venue to display the bank’s vaunted corporate collection, the venue will “be a place where young, promising talent can be seen first,” according to spokesman Stefan Krause. It will debut with a solo exhibition of Imran Qureshi in April 2013.

November 9, 2012

Huntington Library Names Catherine Allgor director of education

LOS ANGELES – The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has named Catherine Allgor, a professor of history at the University of California Riverside, its Nadine and Robert A. Skotheim director of education. She will be replacing Susan Lafferty, who stepped down from her position to pursue a doctoral degree in education. Allgor will oversee more than a thousand volunteers, including 400 docents who provide enrichment for students and adult visitors touring the art, botanical, and library collections as well as select temporary exhibitions.

Allgor is known for her scholarly history work on Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams, and Louisa Adams, among others first ladies of the United States. In 2006, she published a book titled, “A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation.” Previously, she has held a three-year UC presidential chair appointment from 2009 to 2012.

November 7, 2012

St. John\'s University
School of Visual Arts