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Garcetti budget seeks to boost recession-hit Cultural Affairs Dept.

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Original Post By LA Times Reporter Mike Boehm 4/22/15

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing a 12.2% spending increase for the Department of CLA Mayor Garcetti on budget for Cultural Affairsultural Affairs, which would receive the biggest boost during what has been a very lean, recession-racked 21st century for the city’s arts arm.

If approved by the City Council, Cultural Affairs would get its first substantial staff increase since shedding nearly half its workers during the Great Recession.

Garcetti’s plan would lift the core Cultural Affairs budget to $11 million from $9.8 million. That would mark the first time it has reached $11 million since 2003-04. Accounting for inflation, $11 million was worth the equivalent of more than $13 million today.

The Cultural Affairs staff, led by 2014 Garcetti appointee Danielle Brazell as general manager, would rise to 49 from 41. The department had more than 70 employees in 2008, when it began outsourcing operations at many of the city-owned neighborhood theaters and arts centers to private, nonprofit organizations.

Cultural Grants for Youth and Families, the main grant-making program that funnels money to scores of nonprofit arts groups on a competitive basis, would rise almost 30%, to $2.9 million. The grants range from a few thousand dollars for the smallest groups to $52,000 to $55,000 for programs run by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Cultural Affairs Department’s new hires would include two new managers. One would be the director of Barnsdall Park in Hollywood, overseeing all five hilltop arts facilities, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and the Municipal Art Gallery. Another would supervise operations at city-owned theaters, restoring a position that was cut years ago.

Garcetti’s plan would enable the department to hire three art instructors — one each at the Canoga Park Youth Arts Center, Sun Valley Youth Arts Center and William Grant Still Arts

Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House

Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House

Center in West Adams. Three other new employees would work in the public art division, including one to help coordinate private developers’ efforts to meet a city requirement that they provide public art for their projects, and another assigned to the program that shepherds the creation of public artworks required at newly-built or renovated municipal buildings.

Cultural Affairs’ core budget reached its nadir of $7.4 million in 2011-12. In 2004 and 2010 the department survived calls from within City Hall to dissolve it and disperse its functions to other departments. But over the last three budget years, the department’s spending had rebounded, rising in annual increments of $700,000 to $900,000.

The department’s funding typically depends on a share of hotel taxes that is funneled to an arts and cultural facilities and services fund. That pot of money is tapped to pay for the core budget that covers salaries, grants, publications and equipment, and related expenses that are carried elsewhere on the city’s books, such as utilities, building maintenance and pensions and benefits.

Factoring in the add-ons found elsewhere in the budget, Garcetti’s proposal calls for total cultural affairs spending of $15.5 million. The mayor’s plan estimates that $17.4 million will flow into the hotel tax-fed fund during the budget year that begins July 1, up from a projected $15.3 million in the current 2014-15 fiscal year.

“As tourism grows, our budget grows,” said Michael Rudnick, the Department of Cultural Affairs’ assistant general manager. “We’re pleased with what the mayor has included in the budget plan.”

After its long recent history as a budgetary stepchild, the 12.2% core increase Garcetti has proposed for Cultural Affairs compares favorably to many other city agencies. Core funding for the sector of the budget that includes most city agencies would rise 6.5% if adopted by the City Council.

Overall, Garcetti has called for $8.57 billion in city spending for 2015-16, an increase of 5.5%.

 

 

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By framestore

New Museum Preview: The Broad in Downtown Los Angeles

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The Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles

The Broad on Grand Ave in Los Angeles

The Broad Museum (said Brode –after the founding couple), the 35,000-square-foot contemporary art museum located next to the Disney Hall in downtown, sold out nearly 3000 tickets within 30 minutes, to it’s rare “sneak peak” this past Sunday (2/15/15)

After surviving 2 years of construction delays, philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad have officially announced that their new museum, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro, and despite a $19.8 million pending lawsuit by the museum against the German manufacturer Seele: which fabricated the building’s intricate honeycomb-like façade, will open September 20th, 2015 .

Sunday’s preview included a commissioned sound work by the Swedish artist B.J. Nilsen, and an immersive light and sound piece by the Los Angeles artist Yann Novak. Those tickets cost $10 (thebroad.org/skylit); regular admission when the museum opens in September 2015 will be free.

Museum founders Eli and Edythe Broad

Eli and Edythe Broad

The Broad will showcase art spanning the last six decades, from early works by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to a recent video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson, drawn from the museum’s holdings and its founders’ personal collection. As for Otium, the restaurant that Mr. Broad is developing with Bill Chait of République and Bestia for the museum plaza, will be open and in full operation by the September target date as well.

The $140 million gallery located on Grand Avenue was built by to house nearly 2,000 works of art from their foundation and personal collection. The third floor is nearly an acre and the raw space was unfurnished, with no walls or art – was itself on display as a special light and sound installation for the day.

The museum also features the largest elevator in the city, but is barely big enough for the largest piece from the billionaires private contemporary collection. As patrons exited, they commented that they were not even aware they were in an elevator. Because it’s so spacious, it just felt like they were standing around in a room that was to be used for future displays – and then the doors opened to present the third floor.

It looks like the newest downtown museum is already making a big impression on the Los Angeles community without even featuring a single piece of art. Some wonder where walls will be installed (if at all), and others are curious to see how the architect/designer will use the natural skylights to showcase art.

We are looking forward to this Grand Opening. Did you have the opportunity to attend this special event?
Are you looking forward to September’s opening?
 
If so, please share in the comments selection below.
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By Koren K

LACMA Current Exhibit: Archibald Motley – Jazz Age Modernist

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Motley Archibald ArtSince the Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist exhibit opened at LACMA in October 2014, we have framed an increasingly large number of prints of his work. His lively, vibrant, cheerful work is seemingly popular with people of all ages and walks of life.

The exhibit, in its final two weeks; will be ending on February 1st.

Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891–1981) is one of the most significant yet least known twentieth-century artists, despite the continued broad appeal of his paintings. Many of his most important portraits and cultural scenes remain in private collections and few museums have had the opportunity to acquire his work. In a survey that spans forty years, Archibald Motley introduces the artist’s colorful canvases to a wider audience and reveals the rich sociological and art historical underpinnings of his work.

Archibald Motley includes forty-three works spanning each period of Motley’s career, from 1919 to 1960.

Motley’s scenes of life in an African-American community, often in his native Chicago, depict a parallel existence of labor and leisure. His portraits are voyeuristic, but they are also examinations of race, gender, and sexuality. Motley did not shy away from folklore fantasies, directly addressing slavery and racism.Motley Photo

Motley was born in New Orleans, but during the first half of the twentieth century he lived and worked in a predominately white neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest side, a few miles from the city’s growing black community known as “Bronzeville.” Motley’s work examines this community, carefully constructing scenes that depict Chicago’s African-American elites, but also the worlds of the recently disembarked migrants from the South and other characters commonly overlooked.

In 1929, Motley won a Guggenheim Fellowship that funded a year of study in France. His 1929 work Blues, a colorful, rhythm-inflected painting of Jazz Age Paris, has long provided a canonical picture of African American cultural expression during this period. Several other memorable canvases vividly capture the pulse and tempo of “la vie bohème.” Similar in spirit to his Chicago paintings, these Parisian canvases extended the geographical boundaries of the Harlem Renaissance, depicting an African diaspora in Montparnasse’s meandering streets and congested cabarets.

He died in Chicago in 1981.

Motley Nightlife

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist presents a full-scale survey of one the most important artists of the Harlem Renaissance, featuring the painter’s visual examination of African American culture during the Jazz Age.

The exhibition covers Motley’s entire career, including periods in Chicago, Paris, and Mexico. Motley received his formal training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and went on to create strong and somewhat solemn portraits of his community, as well as vividly hued, lively scenes of crowded dance halls that reflect the colorful spirit of the Harlem Renaissance.

The exhibition features a number of paintings depicting the black communities of Chicago and Paris just before and after the Great Depression, and concludes with introspective moments of quotidian life in Mexico, made during the artist’s travels during the 1950’s.

 

 Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist

LACMA
BCAM, Level 3.
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036
tel 323 857-6000
October 19, 2014–February 1, 2015
For ticket or more info please check out LACMA website here.

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By Koren K

SOLD: Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Flower No. 1 for $44.4 Million

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okeeffe framed white flowerAt Sotheby’s New York auction of American Art, Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic flower painting “Jimson Weed / White Flower No. 1″ sold for a remarkable $44,405,000 – more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist, according to a Georgia O’Keeffe Museum press release.

The American Art Auction of 70 lots went on to achieve a spectacular total of $75.4 million, well in excess of its $46 million high estimate, with ten works achieving prices over $1 million. Total for the three O’Keeffe paintings sold at the auction was $50,439,000.

Seven bidders competed for “Jimson Weed / White Flower No. 1″ but it was a prolonged battle between two determined bidders that drove the price to this record height – nearly three times the work’s high estimate of $15 million. The work is a well-known example of O’Keeffe’s celebrated flower paintings, which in turn stand among the most recognizable images in both art history and popular culture.

“Jimson Weed / White Flower No. 1″ was one of three works by the artist that were on offer from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sold to benefit its Acquisitions Fund. Each work exceeded its high estimate, with “On the Old Santa Fe Road” fetching the second-highest price of the day at $5,093,000 (est. $2/3 million), and “Untitled (Skunk Cabbage)” selling for $941,000 (est. $500/750,000). This brings the group’s total to $50.4 million.

“We are excited about the record-breaking results of the Georgia O’Keeffe artworks,” said Robert A. Kret, Director of Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “It is wonderful to see Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic artworks receive the recognition and valuation they deserve. This sale will provide funding to strengthen and refine our collection, allowing us to represent the full breadth of Georgia O’Keeffe’s artistic accomplishments.”

Elizabeth Goldberg, Head of Sotheby’s American Art Department, said: “The outstanding result for Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 places Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in the top tier of 20th century artists on the market internationally, where it has always belonged. It was a particular privilege to present works on behalf of such a wonderful institution as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. To have achieved this result just one year after Norman Rockwell’s Saying Grace set a new benchmark for this category at $46 million shows that there is an amazing appetite in today’s market for gems of American Art.”

The previous auction record for any work by a female artist was $11.9 million, set by Joan Mitchell’s Untitled at Christie’s New York in May 2014. The previous auction record for a work by Georgia O’Keeffe was $6.2 million, set at Christie’s New York in May 2001.

That’s what I call – girl power.

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By Koren K

Museum Louvre Abu Dhabi to Receive 300 Works of Art on Loan

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Louvre Abu Dhabi Louvre Abu Dhabi announced it will receive approximately 300 loans of artwork from major French institutions for its opening year, which will complement the museum’s already growing collection.

The loans will include Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of an Unknown Woman (circa 1495), also known as La Belle Ferroniere, which will be loaned by Musee du Louvre, Edouard Manet’s The Fife Player (1866), and Claude Monet’s The Saint-Lazare Station (1877), which will come from the Musee d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, as well as a number of other pieces from French institutions.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will be first museum in the Middle East to show a Leonardo da Vinci painting. Art historians disagree about the true identity of the enigmatic woman
now known as La Belle Ferroniere, but her status as one of only a handful of undisputed portraits painted by Leonardo da Vinci – and as one of the great masterpieces of the High Renaissance – is without doubt.

 La Belle Ferroniere

The portrait, in which a serious-looking young woman dressed in red velvet stares out at the viewer, will form part of the first batch of about 300 works sent on loan

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said, “These outstanding loans from our French partners represent a collaboration that is symbolic of Louvre Abu Dhabi and its progress to date. This will be the first time many of these works will travel to Abu Dhabi or even the Middle East, and are a rare opportunity to see important art from French museums in tandem with the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection. Ultimately, we hope to offer visitors a unique experience from a new perspective that underlines the universal spirit of the entire project.” Fleur Pellerin, French Minister of Culture and Communication, said, “The announcement of the loans from French museums is within the framework of the intergovernmental agreement signed between the U.A.E. and France in 2007, as the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi represents a major step in this great project. It is an acknowledgement of both the extraordinary richness of our national collections and the expertise of our museums. These masterpieces loaned by the 13 partner French museums and public institutions will implement a new dialogue between different world cultures and civilizations, in a spirit of universalism that France is proud to promote throughout the world.”

The selection was overseen by TCA Abu Dhabi, Agence France-Museums and the lending museums in line with Louvre Abu Dhabi’s scientific and cultural program. It is an acknowledgement of both the extraordinary richness of our national collections and the expertise of our museums. These masterpieces loaned by the 13 partner

French museums and public institutions will implement a new dialogue between different world cultures and civilisations, in a spirit of universalism that France is proud to promote throughout the world.” The selection was overseen by TCA Abu Dhabi, Agence France-Museums and the lending museums in line with Louvre Abu Dhabi’s scientific and cultural program.

Louvre Abu Dhabi interior

The number of works loaned by French institutions will decrease over a 10-year period as Louvre Abu Dhabi continues to build up its collection. The works will be on show for between three months and two years, depending largely on the conservation and preservation requirements of each piece.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will follow the highest international standards and requirements for transport, presentation and conservation of works of art after a full restoration process is completed.

Born of an intergovernmental agreement between Abu Dhabi and France in 2007, Louvre Abu Dhabi will display artworks and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance – from prehistory to the contemporary. Spanning millennia, the items on display will originate from societies and cultures all over the world, but universal themes and common influences will be highlighted to illustrate similarities arising from shared human experience transcending geography, nationality and history.

 

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By Koren K

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