60% of North American Museums Charge Admission - The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has released its annual report which details statistics about how museums in North America have been doing. New data in the report shows that in 2015, 60 percent of museums charged for admission. The other 40 percent offered, for the most part free admission, with a select few museums operating on a suggested donation policy. The report has a lot of fascinating statistics, including average operating expenses and object acquisition sources.
Artworks by Chagall, Matisse, & More Stolen From Trailer in LA - Several artworks by Leroy Neiman, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, and Henri Matisse have been stolen, along with the trailer that housed them, from an industrial park in LA. The works, with a combined value of $250,000, were taken in November and questions are being asked as to why it is only now being made public. Bafflingly, the owner had left his valuable collection parked on the street because he had “run out of storage space.”
David Rubenstein Donates $10m to The Smithsonian - Philanthropist David Rubenstein has donated $10 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s capital campaign. The museum has set a goal of $270 million to fund exhibitions and renovations. So far they have raised $252 million of the target goal. As a way of giving thanks to Rubenstein, the museum will name the centerpiece of its new gallery the David M. Rubenstein History Galleries.
FotoFest 2016 and the Future of Earth - The 34 participating artists in the upcoming FotoFest International festival have been announced. The theme of the show explores environmental issues and the future of our planet and the preview of the participating artists looks fascinating. See some of the participating artists’ artwork
Met Announces Plans for Major Expansion - The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced plans for a major expansion, which is set to include 180,000 square feet of gallery space. Parts of the museum have been designated as landmarked, so the changes will first have to be given the go-ahead by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The expansion may include galleries for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.Monkey Can’t Sue for Copyright - The famous “monkey selfie” case has finally been resolved, with a federal judge in San Francisco indicating that he will dismiss the lawsuit filed against British photographer David Slater. The suit was filed by PETA as a challenge to photographer David Slater’s ownership of a selfie taken by an Indonesian monkey named Naruto. PETA argued that Slater profited unfairly from the image.
New York Library Releases 180,000 Digitized Items for Free Consumption - The New York Public Library has made 180,000 out-of-copyright materials from its digital collection available for download. The move is “intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers and internet users of all kinds.” Some of the new materials that have been made available include “papers and correspondence of founding American political figures like Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.”