Headlines: The Met, The CIA, Art Criticism
1) Met in Talks Regarding New Mandatory Admission Fees
The Metropolitan Museum in New York could potentially implement a mandatory entry fee for non-residents of New York. The museum, which has long been a completely taxpayer-supported institution, was free for over a century and has only in recent years introduced a “suggested donation” for entry. However, the Met’s current multi-million dollar budget deficit is not being covered by suggested donations, which at the adult rate of $25 per person are covering less than 15 percent of the museum’s operating costs.
2) New York Man Vandalizes a Met Painting
Speaking of the Met, a painting at the museum was the subject of possibly racially-motivated vandalism on Wednesday. Shortly after 5PM, a New York man used a blue marker to scrawl “Nazi art” across an as-yet-unidentified painting. The man, 33-year-old Ryan Watson, was detained by security guards before being arrested. The museum later released a statement that the painting would be undergoing restoration efforts.
3) The Story of the AFME, a Cold-War Effort to Fund Middle Eastern Artworks
Here’s an interesting look at the Cold War-era CIA-affiliated organization American Friends of the Middle East, a little-known organization that helped to fight communism by funding Arab artwork and culture. Reportedly, president Roosevelt determined that funding the organization was necessary to increase American appreciation for Arab art and culture, at a time when world tensions were high.
4) Museums Increasingly Displaying Work Outside Their Walls
An overview of the recent trend of museums installing and displaying artworks outside of their walls - for example, video installations on museum facades, or sculptural pieces on the grounds. Statements from museum directors and artists alike point to the strategy as a way not just to entice new visitors into buying admission, but to make fine art more accessible and allow the general public to view it at any time. According to Erkki Huhtamo of the University of California, Los Angeles, the trend dates back to the 1900’s although digital technology has certainly increased the versatility of what can be shown outside museum walls.
5) What Makes Good Art Criticism?
Finally, an essay from artnet News critic Blake Gopnik on what makes effective art criticism.