Earlier this week there was a brief spark of hope that the Michigan Legislature would swiftly pass a bill to try and prevent a potential sale of the Detroit Institue of Arts’ (DIA) collection. That spark has been put out, at least for now, by both the State House of Representatives and Governor Rick Snyder.
Although the state Senate has moved quickly on the bill sponsored by Republican Senator Randy Richardville, the House of Representatives is insisting on going on summer break first. A spokesman said the House wouldn’t consider the bill until the fall, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Even worse, though, is the article’s statement from Governor Rick Snyder, also a Republican, about the situation regarding the city and its beloved museum:
“My goal is not to see the art of the DIA disappear,” Snyder said. “But it’s also important to recognize that as fiduciary of the city, that the art is an asset of the city. We want to try and do the best we can to maintain it in a proper way.”
That is, to put it mildly, not reassuring, although it’s also not surprising coming from the man who signed an emergency-manager law into being after it was struck down in a state referendum and then said, “This legislation demonstrates that we clearly heard, recognized and respected the will of the voters.” Ha! Hahaha!
I contacted DIA for a response to Snyder’s comment, but spokeswoman Pamela Marcil said the museum had been overwhelmed with requests. “At this point, we feel we’ve said everything we can say, and are deferring from doing interviews unless there is new information to talk about.”
And for those who want to be further enraged on this rainy Friday, look no further than Virginia Postrel’s condescending Bloomberg column titled “Detroit’s Van Gogh Would Be Better Off in L.A.,” which I won’t even condescend to critique.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.
Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade
The Rijksmuseum’s traveling show strives to remind us that we are all, in some way, a part of this chapter of human history, whose legacy continues today.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Textured Histories at Shiprock Santa Fe
The Santa Fe gallery features Indigenous textiles and jewelry from the early 19th century to today.
Renaissance Portrait of “Ugly Duchess” Likely Depicts a Man
A curator at London’s National Gallery believes the subject of painter Quinten Massys’s painting “is most likely a he.”
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Hokusai’s “Great Wave” Makes a Splash at Auction
An edition of the iconic woodblock print broke records when it sold for $2.8M this week.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
Just to play a little devils advocate, if the city is dissolving and it’s people are migrating elsewhere why shouldn’t the art follow them to new grounds?
I don’t like viewing art as an asset, it’s a little upsetting. But culture is different, culture should stay with the people that can tend to it best, where the people go the art will follow.
Because the city isn’t dissolving, it’s growing in the Cultural Center where the DIA is located. A new light rail train system is going in along Woodward starting this fall, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on development in Midtown and Downtown Detroit. Dan Gilbert clearly does not think the city is dissolving.
Try visiting Detroit before deducing its status from afar, you may be surprised by what you find. It’s full of people capable of tending to culture, and its culture is thriving, bringing visitors from across the world on a daily basis. Memorial Day weekend’s Movement festival, formerly known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, has been bringing throngs of people to the city from all over Europe for over a decade now. It’s an electronic music lover’s mecca. Should it also be relocated to LA? Should the Motown museum? What about the Heidelberg Project?
Is culture dependent on population? Take a look at Marfa, TX.
My response exactly. People assume that because Detroit is going into bankruptcy that everything sucks and is terrible and so who gives a shit about the museum? But there are still people in Detroit, many of them creative. On top of which, this idea that the art should be moved because LA can better tend to it or whatever is BS. The DIA is doing an excellent job of caring for its art, and the people fo Detroit deserve a world-class museum filled with inspiring art as much as anyone anywhere else. In fact I might even argue they deserve it MORE, since cities like LA have plenty of other museums and more access to culture and Detroit has less.
Scary. Those Van Goghs and the Caravaggio, in particular, must look like juicy, ripe plums for the picking to people who don’t care about art. Very disturbing.
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