In July, when we covered Peter Schjeldahl’s since-retracted stance on selling the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), we noted the legal and logistical challenges of liquidating any part of the collection. Though a lot has transpired since then — most notably the Christie’s appraisal of the “city-owned” portion of the DIA’s collection — there remains a lingering uncertainty about the legal standing of City of Detroit creditors vis-à-vis the DIA itself. Yesterday, Judge Steven Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan denied the request of a consortium of creditors calling for a new, “independent” evaluation of DIA’s entire collection. The creditors believe such a review is necessary because the “Christie’s evaluation, which was ordered by the city … only covered 5% of the collection rather than the entire 66,000-piece collection and, they argued, that the art was worth far more than Christie’s high-end estimate of less than $900 million,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
“Whether any of us like it, the art is in play,” an attorney representing a number of European investment banks is quoted as having said during the proceedings. Though Rhodes stuck a partially conciliatory tone with the aggrieved bondholders in saying that he is “not totally unsympathetic” to their cause, he rejected that the art was “in play” in any substantial sense, saying: “It depends on what you mean by ‘in play.’” According to the Free Press, the judge added that “he’s not sure DIA artwork can be sold to help resolve the city’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy” and “reiterated his previous statements that one-time fixes won’t repair the city’s finances. And he called Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s opinion that the DIA property can’t be sold a ‘serious argument’ that he would consider.”
This latest round of pressure on the DIA comes on the heels of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s attempt last week at indirectly pressuring the museum into contributing $100 million over 20 years to the bankruptcy resolution. As ever in these ongoing legal wranglings, the developments are troubling but leave more questions open than closed. And none of these matters are likely to be resolved any time soon: “In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t do faits accomplis,” Rhodes said.
Join Hyperallergic for an online conversation with cultural organizer and curator La Tanya S. Autry on February 1 at 7pm (EST).
This week, the Tonga eruption as captured from space, Boston gets a big gift of Dutch and Flemish painting, 30 years of New Queer Cinema, an important Marcel Breuer house is demolished, and much more.
At this free online summit, hear from architects Tadao Ando and Lesley Lokko; artist Himali Singh Soin; author Amitav Ghosh; design studio Formafantasma; and more.
Being bowled over by an unknown artist’s first one-person show does not happen often but when it does, it renews your faith that the art world is not just about buzz and hype.
Surrealist images of a Rice Krispies box or Yukon Gold potato explore how data is transformed into the visual language called art.
This immersive video installation utilizes waterscape scenes to speak about concepts such as existence, intimacy, healing, and aquatic ecology.
What is wonderful about the online photography exhibition What Have We Stopped Hiding? is that one is given entrée to the internal monologue of the artists featured in the show.
Self-taught artists were invited to exhibit, and sell, their fuzzy stacks of pancakes and tasseled tapestries.
Curator, educator, and transdisciplinary artist Jova Lynne is coming from MOCAD to lead Temple Contemporary exhibitions and public programs.
Our culture seems obsessed with the artist/model relationship, portrayed in countless movies and narratives as a relationship that is lustful and scandalous.
Creator Art Spiegelman said he was “baffled” by the decision and called the school board’s behavior “Orwellian.”
The winners of this year’s Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest prove that life is indeed better under the sea.