Since last May, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has been at the center of bankruptcy negotiations between the beleaguered City of Detroit and a myriad of creditors and pensioners to whom a staggering $18 billion is owed. When Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager, included the museum’s art collection among city assets available forRead More
Value vs. Value: An inside look at appraising artworks in museums
People like to say that art is priceless, but for at least some arts workers, that doesn’t make any sense.
Around the horn: Angela Merkel edition
ART AND THE GOVERNMENT With a rare, wide-open mayoral race underway, Boston’s arts community has come together to assert some political sway of its own. The new advocacy coalition MassCreative organized a nine-candidate forum that actually pushed back a televised debate. The primary is today. North Carolina’s Randolph County just banned Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man from school libraries followingRead More
Around the horn: Tokyo 2020 edition
ART AND THE GOVERNMENT You probably didn’t know it, but your fancy new mobile device is making it more difficult for your favorite local theater company to keep its wireless microphones. The Federal Communications Commission is considering auctioning off two “safe haven” broadcast channels used by wireless mics to commercial wireless providers. Theatre Communications GroupRead More
Detroit Institute of Arts: What’s a museum to do?
Recent threats placed upon the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have thrust the topic of deaccessioning once more into the popular spotlight. The DIA and its collection are owned by the City of Detroit, which has struggled financially for decades and was recently assigned a city emergency manager by the state’s governor Rick Snyder. InRead More
Around the horn: Big Brother edition
ART AND THE GOVERNMENT A lot of people are talking about the news that Detroit’s emergency fiscal manager is exploring whether the city-owned art on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts (which I visited for the first time just a few weeks ago) can be considered an asset in the event of a municipal bankruptcy.Read More
Free to a Good Home? Or For Sale to the Highest Bidder?
While the museum field has mostly agreed upon best practices around the decision to remove an object from a collection, controversies over big deaccessions still arise year after year, partly because many institutions take liberties with standard practices or ignore them altogether.