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September 30, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times art critic
Did you know that Michiganders, in general, and Detroiters, in particular, are idle, good-for-nothing spendthrifts? Michael Kinsley thinks so. The New Republic's editor-at-large has written a snarky new column contemplating possible masterpiece sales from the Detroit Institute of Arts in the face of civic bankruptcy. The commentator likens the Motor City to the stately homes of England, which went into a "Downton Abbey" tailspin a century ago as Britain and the East India Co. began their inevitable rot. “There is a rich tradition of wastrels squandering the family fortune, then taking a few canvases to the pawnbroker's.”  CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat There is also a rich tradition of know-nothings writing about art and museums.
September 7, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
The $650-million plan to remake the jumbled campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Boulevard is the fourth such effort in the last three decades. Challenging in concept and architecturally ambitious, the design by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, 70, unveiled in a summer exhibition closing next Sunday, also can't help but make one wonder about the apparent difficulty in building good museum galleries. Is it really so hard? Here's a quick, relatively inexpensive and aesthetically surefire way to construct a first-rate museum building for art. It turns out to be as simple as one, two, three.
September 1, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
Michael McManus, the former chief curator for the Laguna Art Museum and organizer of a major scholarly overview of California Impressionism, has died. He was 60. McManus, who had a heart condition, died Aug. 10 at his home in Seal Beach, said Mike Stice, a spokesman for Laguna College of Art and Design. Known for his quirky mannerisms and encyclopedic knowledge of the history of art and regionalist movements, McManus was a popular faculty member at Laguna College of Art and Design (formerly the Art Institute of Southern California)
July 24, 2013 | By Roger Vincent
Bluejeans moguls Maurice and Paul Marciano have bought one of Los Angeles' most notorious real estate white elephants, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, and they have plans to turn it into a private art museum. The imposing marble-clad edifice, which has seen little use since 1994, will undergo a major renovation to house the Marcianos' contemporary art collections. It will be operated for the most part as a private property, with occasional exhibitions open to the public.
July 20, 2013 | By Jori Finkel
Behind an art museum's gleaming galleries lies the off-limits and uninviting space that can hold as much as 95% of its collection: storage. These spaces are often packed with hundreds or even thousands of paintings, decorative art objects and other artifacts that can languish, unappreciated and untouched by curators, for years. But as a way to bring art out from its underbelly and display more of a museum's possessions, several institutions are embracing "visible storage" in public areas, exhibiting the art without the expense of a spacious, beautifully installed and curated show.
July 1, 2013 | By David Ng
Hong Kong's M+, the long-awaited art museum to be built in the city's West Kowloon Cultural District, officially has an architecture team. The Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has been selected to design the museum, along with the London-Hong Kong firm TFP Farrells. M+ is scheduled to be completed in 2017 and will be a key part of the city's new cultural district, a waterfront development that will serve as home to visual and performing arts organizations. Planners hope the $642-million museum will become one of the world's top modern and contemporary art destinations on the level of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Herzog & de Meuron said it was selected based on a recommendation from an international jury.
June 6, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Knitting has many purposes, from functional to fanciful. A sweater for the dog. A tea cozy for the pot. A facade for the Craft and Folk Art Museum. “CAFAM Granny Squared” is a wonderfully weird public art project in which the brick museum across from the La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Boulevard has been temporarily covered with thousands of small, colorful squares of crocheted yarn. The architectural packaging is sort of like Christo wrapping a building, albeit with an old-fashioned homemade effort substituting for the modern engineering imperatives of heavy industry.
May 18, 2013
I've just returned from a two-week visit to London and Paris. If you're heading over and art is important to you, avoid the giant museums and think small. In London, seek out the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House, the Royal Academy; the Wallace Collection; and the Clore Gallery of the Tate Britain, housing its Turners. In Paris, the Musée Marmottan Monet, loaded with some of Monet's best; the Musée Delacroix (early works); and the Musée de l'Orangerie (surround yourself with Monet's waterlilies)
May 4, 2013 | By Irene Lacher
Theater director Peter Sellars, a UCLA professor of world arts and cultures, will be honored by the Santa Monica Museum of Art at its 25th-anniversary Precognito Gala on May 9. Why are you based in Los Angeles instead of New York, which has a larger arts community? For me, Los Angeles has always been the future and New York has always been the past. New York is the old power structure, and frankly, what's way more interesting is what's taking form in the 21st century in L.A. The future of America is happening right here.
April 27, 2013 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Through a series of landmark exhibitions in the 1960s and 1970s, Eudorah Moore blurred the boundaries between art, design and craft - and helped introduce the concept of California design to the wider world. In choosing to present fine wood furniture and pottery alongside such surprising pieces as a bus stop bench or jewelry that functioned as body sculpture, she championed a message of mixed-media inclusiveness. As she cast her eye outdoors, Moore helped cement the notion of design as lifestyle by highlighting the region's fascination with recreation by displaying such items as a canoe, skateboards or a portable cabana.
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