Archive for the ‘Permanent Collection’ Category
Norton Simon Museum
As I was finishing up in this exhibition, I overheard a tour being given to what I presumed was a UCLA summer painting course. “We have the Getty in our own backyard, but the Getty’s collection kinda sucks. The Norton Simon’s is the really great collection of LA,” the teacher harped. I am paraphrasing. While I detest uninformed and unnecessary opinions (especially from arts educators) about which museum has the “best” collection, I can’t deny the Norton Simon has a pretty amazing one, and I don’t even like Impressionism. Significant Objects: The Spell of the Still Life presents a thematic cross section of the museum’s diverse collections and is an examination of “the ways in which these ostensibly mundane and insignificant subjects [harsh!] portrayed in painting and sculpture and works on paper are indeed significant.” Significant Objects does not present groundbreaking, paradigm shift-type discoveries or research, but is a huge success as a rich, educational opportunity for general audiences utilizing the permanent collection. Permanent collection show hurray! Here are the facts:
Private Collector Museums
As promised, lets explore a series of amazing/crazy collectors around the world who have built museums to house their collections. First up, David Walsh
Let’s begin in a dark corner at the bottom of the world, Tasmania. It is there that eccentric collector David Walsh (who made his fortunes developing gambling systems) built the Museum of Old And New Art to house his collections of antiquities and contemporary art. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia with an $8 million annual operating budget. The funding comes from Walsh, and from other business Walsh developed on the sprawling Morilla estate where the museum is located.
Every Museum in L.A.
One of my favorite blogs is William Poundstone’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, it keeps me updated about L.A. and is always witty, and sometimes sassy. Poundstone recently blogged about the Broad Art Foundation’s new acquisition: Glenn Ligon’s Warm Broad Glow, which was in the recent Ligon show at LACMA. The news made me curious to see what else the Broad Art Foundation has been acquiring.
Last week, I attended (a portion) of LACMA’s 24-hour screening of the museum’s newly-acquired The Clock by Christian Marclay. I watched the video work from 8:00 until a little after midnight, and LACMA’s Bing Theater was packed the entire time. People shuffled out at the bottom of each hour, allowing more people in. When I left at 12:15, there was still a line of eager museum visitors all the way down the side of the Art of the Americas building. The Clock has been on view pretty much from the time it was acquired back in May, and just closed this past weekend. If you didn’t get the opportunity to see it, fear not, I’m sure it will be back—it’s a huge crowd pleaser.
The showing attracted a mixed bag of attendees; The Clock is more fun to watch in a diverse group of people. Older viewers recognized clips I didn’t; there were big laughs for a dinner scene from The Odd Couple, and more laughs for a Vincent Price clip. I held my own when I recognized a young Catherine Deneuve, a pivotal scene from Hitchcock’s Rope, and Dustin Hoffman in drag in Tootsie. The oldtimers were stumped by a clip from Sex and the City. Some clips I wanted to go on longer, but I quickly forgot about them because there were five or more news clips in the next minute. Read the rest of this entry »
Restitution Issue: Norton Simon Museum
Adam and Eve, painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in c. 1530, are a pair of panel paintings currently on view in Pasadena, at the Norton Simon Museum. There hasn’t been an update on the painted pair since October, but the ownership of the Adam and Eve remains an unresolved dispute. Marei Von Saher is the daughter-in-law of Jacques Goudstikker, a previous owner of the Adam and Eve. During the 1940s, Goudstikker fled Holland and was forced to sell the panels to the Nazis under duress. The issue of restitution would seem clear if this case was that simple. A questionable, century-long provenance and a legal tangle both complicate the case. Let’s explore.
Norton Simon bought the Cranach panels from George Stroganoff-Scherbatoff , a Russian, in 1971. Stroganoff-Scherbatoff was the heir of an aristocratic family who claimed to have owned the paintings prior to 1917. Stroganoff-Scherbatoff received/bought the paintings from the Dutch Government in a restitution agreement in 1966. The Dutch Government was restituted the paintings (remember Goudstikker fled Holland during WWII) after WWII. The Nazis forced Goudstikker to sell them in the 1940s. Goudstikker had bought the paintings from the Soviet government at an auction in 1931. The Russian government had confiscated Adam and Eve from the family of Stroganoff-Scherbatoff prior to 1917. Seems like a resolved case of restitution: Russian heir gets stolen paintings back and then sells them to a collector (Norton Simon).