Sum of the Arts

Replica of L'Hermione docked at the South Street Seaport after a 31-day journey on the Atlantic (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
Replica of L’Hermione docked at New York City’s South Street Seaport after a 31-day journey on the Atlantic (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Inspired by the Harper’s Index, Sum of the Arts is a periodic tabulation of numbers floating around the art world and beyond.

  • Days a replica of the 18th-century ship which brought the Marquis de Lafayette to the American Revolution, l’Hermione, took to travel from France to the United States = 31
  • Number of Byzantine ivory works from the British Museum denied entry to the United States by the US Fish and Wildlife Service = 6
  • Years steel cables holding up Detroit’s 5,000-pound sculpture of Joe Louis’s fist can survive before requiring replacement due to stretching = 10
  • Hours to 3D print a hominid skull replica for the Smithsonian Institution’s 2017 traveling exhibition Exploring Human Origins = 12
  • Number of museums that exhibited Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” over the past five years = 20
  • Sculptures conserved by the Central Park Conservancy, which will unveil its most recent, John Quincy Adams Ward’s “The Pilgrim” (1885), this month = 40
  • Number of demerits accumulated by artist James McNeill Whistler when he was expelled by Robert E. Lee from West Point in 1854 = 240
  • Temperatures in celsius at which geologist Jeff Karson and sculptor Bob Wysocki pour melted basalt rock to replicate a lava flow = 1,100 to 1,1350
  • Square footage of exhibition space planned for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which pushed back its opening to 2016 = 99,000 (compared to 63,000 at the new Whitney Museum of American Art)
  • Estimated amount (in US dollars) art collectors spent at auction on Contemporary, Modern, Postwar, and Impressionist art in the first six months of 2015 = 3,700,000,000
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