Our art news roundup was a little slow out of the gates this week thanks to the holiday weekend, but you didn’t think we were going to abandon the feature all together did you? Well we aren’t. We are still dedicated to becoming the No. 1 resource for people interested in art careers, and so we are going to continue to provide art career items that are newsworthy. If you have any news you think we should include, email us at [email protected].
1. Unfortunately, we start this week’s roundup with some bad news tied to — you guessed it — art funding. More applicants and the same amount of bare bones funding from Congress means that the National Endowment for the Arts was forced to make some difficult financial decisions when it came to awarding grants to this year. One place the cuts are expected to hit hardest when they become official April 25 is at PBS, where more than $1 million of federal production aid will be stripped from PBS performing arts programs. The public broadcasting services runs a number of performing arts shows on their networks, and those shows rely heavily on funding from the NEA. Funding that is not going to be nearly as plentiful this year. It is especially telling that everyone involved seems to recognize that this isn’t an NEA problem, it is a problem at the federal level, as those in the know blame Congress for not funding the NEA better.
2. In the art industry, when an artist dies, there works usually become more valuable, and landscape painter Thomas Kinkade was no exception. Kinkade became famous in the 1990s when he successfully marketed his paintings of landscapes and other domestic scenes on television and in a national chain of galleries. On Friday, he died of unspecified causes at the age of 54. Now, because of his fame and his complicated personal legacy, his works have become something of a hot commodity. If you are trying to jump into the collecting fray, this article will help give you some guidelines on how to protect yourself from fraud.
3. Assuming they are serious when they say they aren’t interested in generating revenue from the project, I am a huge fan of the Google Art Project. After launching early last year, Google has been partnering with art collections and museums from across the world to make much of the artwork housed in these places more accessible for public consumption. These aren’t just pictures of famous art however, the project uses the same technology Google uses for their street views to allow users to virtually move throughout the gallery. The National Gallery of Modern Art is the latest well-known museum to jump on board and I expect more to follow once the project picks up steam. I understand why museums might be reluctant to share the famous works they so diligently pursued, but art should be about sharing, and that is exactly what this project does.
4. In this week’s edition of “Idiots caught committing art fraud”, a segment I invented just now, we find 43-year-old Matthew Taylor, who was arrested in September and charged with defrauding an art collector of more than $2 million dollars. Apparently Taylor sold this collector a bunch of doctored paintings by unknown artists by claiming they were painted by famous folks like Monet and Van Gogh. The guy apparently is also being accused of stealing paintings in California and money laundering. Good work Matthew Taylor! You have once again proven how foolish it is for people to try and earn quick cash by selling fake art work. I’m sure there have been plenty of scam artists who have gotten away with this over the years, but most of these con men end up caught, especially when their con involves extremely large sums of money. What does this have to do with art careers? Well let’s just say you probably won’t see an article on a career in art fraud anytime soon on our site.
5. We end today with a news item that should interest museums and art gallery owners everywhere. The world’s most famous museum, The Louvre, is in an ongoing partnership with the world’s most famous creator of princess-saving Italian plumbers, Nintendo, and the most recent product of this partnership is an audio and visual guide that Nintendo developed so that museum patrons receive an interactive experience while they meander through The Louvre’s ample collection. This is hardly a revolutionary idea, as many museums have added audio tours to their experience. The difference may lie in the breadth of Nintendo’s tour, which includes 3D experiences and tons of high definition pictures. Kudos to The Louvre for embracing technology in what can be a stodgy industry.