The Grolier Club is exploring the overlooked art of American security engraving, in which the strength of an artwork correlates to the security of the banknote or bond it’s printed on.
Last night, a suburban board in Detroit signaled its intent to pass a resolution discontinuing the collection of the special tax voted in to support the Detroit Institute of Arts should the institution’s art or assets be liquidated. There remains a great deal of anxiety over whether or not Detroit will have to liquidate at least some works in the Detroit Institute of Art collection, a fear which has also culminated in today’s collective action in art media — a day of solidarity. Which is all fine and well (this publication’s Tumblr presence, Hyperallergic LABS, will be participating), but what might be of greater interest to those concerned about the fate of the DIA is a more thorough understanding of how the defaults on the city’s various financial obligations actually affect the Detroit Institute of Arts’s “assets.”
Last week, Atlantic Media’s business publication, Quartz, ran a 2200-word takedown of the art market by Allison Schrager. The story was accompanied by a helpful flowchart illustrating how deeply corrupt the art market is, and carries all the familiar signs of the minimally self-aware bloviation characteristic of the financial press. That Schrager, “an economist with a focus on pension issues,” seems to not quite be sure of anything she’s saying — the word “probably” appears with alarming regularity — is not the most repugnant quality of the piece.