Jean Sutherland Boggs (1922–2014)

08.28.14

Art historian and curator Jean Sutherland Boggs has passed away, according to Newswire. In 1966, Boggs became the fifth director of the National Gallery of Canada, where she served for a decade, founding the gallery’s photography collection program and overseeing a new building for the gallery designed by architect Moshe Safdie. Boggs also happened to be the first female director of the gallery. She’d also worked as curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and later went on to be the director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“She is among my heroes and we strive daily to maintain the standards of excellence that she established,” said National Gallery of Canada director and CEO, Marc Mayer.

Marilena Bonomo (1928–2014)

08.28.14

The pioneering Italian art dealer Marilena Bonomo passed away last Sunday, reports BariToday, a local publication based in Bari, Italy, where her gallery is based. Bonomo founded the gallery in 1971 and was influential in promoting and supporting the early careers of artists such as Sol LeWitt, Alighiero Boetti, and Mimmo Paladino, among others. It was partly thanks to her friendship with LeWitt that the artist gave Bari a major mural, exhibited now in the Sala Murat exhibitions space. Throughout the years, Bonomo's gallery also worked in collaboration with an Italian heritage fund to restore historical buildings throughout the city. Bonomo's gallery will continue to operate under the supervision of her two daughters, Sandra and Valentina.

In an obituary for La Reppublica, Lorenzo Madarao called Bonomo a “fundamental figure in contemporary art” whose gallery was “celebrated in Italy and abroad for its avant-garde work.”

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Architecture School to Lose Accreditation

08.28.14

The architecture school run by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will lose its accreditation in 2017, reports Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times. Two years ago the Higher Learning Commission, a nonprofit based in Chicago that accredits universities and colleges, put in place a new policy requiring that “accredited institutions must be separately incorporated from sponsoring organizations.” The Wright Foundation’s board has the option to incorporate the school separately but would risk losing control over its operations. As a result, the board decided to forgo accreditation. Sean Malone, the foundation’s president and chief executive, said that “there are no plans, whatsoever, to close . . . . We’re going to be looking for another accredited institution with whom to partner so we can jointly offer a professional degree.”

The Wright school—which includes only twenty or so students—is based at the architect’s winter and summer homes, in Taliesin West in Scottsdale and Taliesin in Wisconsin, respectively. It offers a master of architecture degree and has been accredited since 1992. In a statement issued Wednesday, the school board said the institution “is at the top of its peer group in terms of graduates who practice architecture” and that it “respectfully disagrees with the decisions and actions” made by the Higher Learning Commission.

After Zaha Hadid Files Suit, New York Review of Books Issues Correction

08.27.14

Allan Kozinn reports in the New York Times that writer Martin Filler acknowledged an error in a critical piece he wrote for the New York Review of Books that touched on Zaha Hadid’s stance toward workers’ rights, after the star architect filed a libel lawsuit in Manhattan last week.

In his review of Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture (2014) by Rowan Moore, Filler mentioned that Hadid “has unashamedly disavowed any responsibility, let alone concern,” for the construction workers who’ve died while building Al Wakrah stadium, Qatar—a project helmed by the architect. In that context, he published a quote from Hadid in The Guardian, in which she said, “I have nothing to do with the workers . . . . It's not my duty as an architect to look at it.” Since the suit, Filler has issued a note clarifying that Hadid went on record with the quote before construction began, and that there have been no worker deaths on the Al Wakrah project, which is scheduled to start in 2015.

Cleveland Museum of Art Names Director of Performing Arts

08.26.14

Thomas Welsh has been appointed director of performing arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Welsh joined the institution in 2007 and previously acted as the associate director of music; he also served as the Ohio City Stages program director. Massoud Saidpour, the former director of performing arts, resigned in February. According to Zachary Lewis of the Plain Dealer, Welsh believes that the museum’s programming in this department will have a transformative effect on the local community: “I'm bullish on the museum and on Cleveland. I can't think of another place where the museum plays such a vital role across the entire artistic life of the city.”

Jodi Throckmorton Appointed Curator of Contemporary Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

08.26.14

Jodi Throckmorton has been named curator of contemporary art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, effective October 27. Throckmorton is currently the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, a role she assumed in 2013. Before that, she worked as associate curator at the San Jose Museum of Art for five years.

Said director Harry Philbrick: “I am delighted that Jodi will be joining PAFA. Her skill as a curator, as well as passion and enthusiasm, became clear when I had the pleasure of working with her on PAFA's Eric Fischl exhibition in 2012. Jodi's essay in PAFA's ”Female Gaze“ exhibition catalogue is evidence of her superb skills as a writer, as well as her outstanding scholarship.”

Tortoises Removed from Aspen Art Museum

08.26.14

Three African sulcata tortoises, part of the exhibition “Moving Ghost Town” by Cai Guo-Qiang at the Aspen Art Museum, have been relocated to a warmer climate to ensure their well being, reports Curtis Wackerle of the Aspen Daily News. The tortoises had been on display in an 800-square-foot pen on the museum’s roof deck with iPads attached to their shells, which played footage of local ghost towns. The exhibit stirred controversy, and animal rights activists called it inhumane and unethical. A petition was signed by more than 18,000 people demanding the museum remove the iPads from the tortoises' shells. After a veterinarian in charge of their care determined that weather conditions were too cold and wet to ensure their well being, the museum agreed to move them to a warmer climate a month ahead of schedule.

Art Basel's Director of New Initiatives to Step Down

08.25.14

Andrew Russeth at Artnews reported that Annette Schönholzer, who is currently the director of new initiatives for Art Basel, will be leaving at the end of the month but will continue to collaborate with the fair's organizers in the future. She had started that post in 2012 when the fair reorganized its leadership, with Marc Spiegler becoming director of the three fairs in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong.

Is Asheville Art Museum Headed Towards Bankruptcy?

08.25.14

In an article by Roger McCredie in the Asheville Tribune, the former Asheville mayor and city manager Ken Michalove claims that the museum is headed towards bankruptcy unless it improves fundraising and stops adjusting financial reports in order to qualify for city and county money. In putting together a report of the institution’s finances based on its most recent tax return, Michalove has concluded that “raising $24 million, and likely a great deal more, is critical to AAM to avoid bankruptcy.” That amount was the prior stated goal of the museum’s capital fundraising drive circa 1996.