July 9, 2009
A questionable deal is a lot like art. No one can define it, but people know it when they see it. What everybody knows is that at least a couple of the paintings recently sold by the Orange County Museum of Art were stellar examples of California Impressionism. Yet no one except the museum's director and a few others know why they were sold so secretly, for such an apparently low price, or to whom.
January 7, 2003 |
The Orange County Museum of Art on Monday announced that Dennis Szakacs, who has spent the last seven years as an executive at contemporary arts institutions in New York City, will be its new director.
June 17, 2009 |
The director of the Laguna Art Museum wants to find the unidentified art collector who quietly bought a prized cache of early 20th century California Impressionist paintings from the Orange County Museum of Art -- in hopes of persuading the new owner to donate or sell the 18 works to his museum. OCMA's director, Dennis Szakacs, said the museum got $963,000 for the 18 works in a private sale in March that just came to light this week. The museum promised the buyer anonymity. But experts are saying that two key paintings in the group, Granville Redmond's "Silver and Gold" and William Wendt's "Spring in the Canyon," could each be worth as much as OCMA received for all 18. Whitney Ganz, director of William A. Karges Fine Art in L.A., added his voice to those astonished that OCMA let its paintings go for $963,000, when the two star attractions alone, in their opinion, should have fetched $1.5 million or more.
March 23, 2012 |
Here's one tangible sign of the beneficial effect of Pacific Standard Time, the Getty-sponsored initiative to exhume the mostly under-recognized history of important Los Angeles art in the first generation after World War II: Southern California museums are now competing over the legacy. How high have the stakes quickly become? Let's just say the competition is so eager that it doesn't always mean a fair fight. One museum has publicly announced plans to organize a retrospective of a major but under-sung L.A. painter - even though officials knew that another museum already had the same show in the works for several months.
June 20, 2009 |
If you want to know who the private collector was who got what many consider a great deal on 18 California Impressionist paintings from the Orange County Museum of Art, just ask Dennis Szakacs, OCMA's director. That is, as long as you are one of his fellow museum professionals and have an interest in borrowing some of the early 20th century works for an exhibition, or in cultivating as a philanthropic patron somebody who could afford the $963,000 outlay for the paintings, and is described by Szakacs as a champion of the popular style that's also often called plein-air painting.
December 24, 2008 |
"Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series, 1967-1985," a highly anticipated exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art, has been postponed for six months. Originally scheduled to open Oct. 11, 2009, as the museum's fall headliner, the show will be launched April 4, 2010, OCMA Director Dennis Szakacs said. The primary reason for the schedule change is financial, a museum representative said. The museum's leaders decided that it would be imprudent to present two particularly expensive exhibitions -- "Illumination: The Paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin and Florence Pierce" and the Diebenkorn show -- in one year.