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NATIONAL
March 30, 2013 | By Jenny Deam, Los Angeles Times
Tucked away and forgotten for years in a museum storage bin, the small oil painting held a great secret and was just biding its time, waiting for someone to notice it. And then one day someone did. So began the Case of the Curious Curator. It all started in 2000 (actually a couple centuries earlier, but that's getting ahead of the story) when a canvas in dreadful condition called "Venice: The Molo from the Bacino di S. Marco" was bequeathed to the Denver Art Museum from a deceased local collector's foundation.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 29, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
Donations, the main financial power source for art museums, dropped again in 2011-12 at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, marking declines in each of the first two years of Jeffrey Deitch's tenure as museum director. This time, the fall - a $270,000 decline - wasn't as bad as the $4.5-million drop in 2010-11, the first year at the helm for Deitch. The fundraising figures are part of the audited financial statement MOCA released Friday for the fiscal year that ran from mid-2011 to mid-2012, providing a more up-to-date glimpse of the strained financial conditions that led to the recent swirl of speculation about the downtown museum's future.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 2013 | By David Ng
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have named Colin Bailey as their new director. Bailey, who most recently served as the deputy director and chief curator at the Frick Collection in New York, will head the De Young Museum and the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. For more than a year, the Fine Arts Museums have been without a director following the death in 2011 of John Buchanan. He died at 58 following a battle with cancer. Since then, the organization has searched for a director amid reports of in-fighting and internal dissent among staffers.
NATIONAL
March 26, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- It's one of the biggest art museums in the world, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan can also be one of the costliest to visit.  Not even the Louvre in Paris charges near the Met's top ticket price of $25. Now, a class-action lawsuit seeks to change things for the visitors who suffer sticker shock as they hand over an admission fee that -- according to the complaint -- they don't have to pay. In fact, $25 is only a recommendation, as the sign at the cashier's desk says, but “recommended” is written in “tiny un-bolded print” beneath the list of suggested fees and is either overlooked or misunderstood by most of the millions of people who visit the museum each year, according to the lawsuit filed this month.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Super-sized exhibitions are becoming more common in art museums, and the next few months will see several among the notable new shows opening around town. Chronologically, here's a selection of what's coming up in art this spring, including three really big shows: "War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath" Annenberg Space for Photography, March 23-June 2 Some war photographs are indelibly printed in America's cultural memory, such as Joe Rosenthal's carefully choreographed 1945 picture of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima or Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut's image of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack in 1972 (both for the Associated Press)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2013 | By Jori Finkel and Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has proposed acquiring the troubled Museum of Contemporary Art - a move that would combine the biggest art collection west of the Mississippi with one of the world's most prestigious troves of contemporary art. The acquisition could put to rest long-standing concerns over the financial viability of the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA. But it also faces potential opposition from the region's most influential art patron, billionaire Eli Broad.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2013 | By Jori Finkel
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a formal proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which has been struggling with financial troubles and staff and board defections. LACMA Director Michael Govan and the two co-chairs of his board made the offer in a Feb. 24 letter to the MOCA board co-chairs, laying out the rationale for an acquisition. The letter said that LACMA would preserve MOCA's two downtown locations and operate them under the MOCA name, according to people who have seen the letter but were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2013 | By David Ng
Will there be portraits of Jar-Jar Binks emerging from a half shell? George Lucas, the producer of the "Star Wars" movies, is planning to build an art museum in San Francisco. The filmmaker told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday he hopes to create an institution that would be dedicated to exploring "cultural fantasy. " "It's my big project right now," Lucas told CBS. "There's a world of young people who need to be inspired. " PHOTOS: 'Star Wars' at the box office Lucas is a big collector of art, though it's not the kind of art that is likely to impress art critics.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2013 | By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times
Don and Mera Rubell are known in the art world as the New York-to-Miami transplants who helped to bring the Art Basel art fair to Florida and opened a museum-like space there for their cutting-edge collection. Not so well known: their connections to California. They lived here briefly in 1969, when Don did his internship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before becoming a gynecologist. In 2005 and 2006 they flew from Miami to Los Angeles so often in search of new, exciting art that they called their resulting exhibition "Red Eye. " "We could have called it GPS," Mera said, laughing, remembering crisscrossing the city to reach artists' studios.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Seven years ago last month, when Michael Govan was named the sixth director in the relatively brief history of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, his mandate was clear: overhaul the place. The ambitious plan was to make LACMA the nation's only general-interest art museum to feature a major program in the rambunctious field of Modern and contemporary art. Why? The place of the new amid the old was contentious from the institution's start, as it has been for every encyclopedic museum that collects art from nearly every global civilization in recorded human history.
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