Monday, June 15, 2009

To Display Money

In discussing the relationship between art and money, Thompson touches on some interesting points which lead me to wonder why it is that donors continue to donate artwork or even funding to museums. For instance, Thompson notes that despite being urged by officials to list the value of their entire collection (which includes the “locked-away” portion) on their accounting sheets, museum curators refuse to do so on the grounds that they believe “revealing the true value of the collection would signal to donors that the museum has no need of philanthropy; they could simply sell or lease art to finance new acquisitions (187).” Adding to that, Thompson goes on to highlight the case of Burton and Emily Tremaine, a couple who discovered that when they simply gave a work to a museum it usually was placed held in storage for an extensive amount of time. However, when they sold a work to a museum, the museum often displayed the piece as well as generated promotion for it. They came to the conclusion that “curators most appreciated items for which they had to give up a large part of their acquisition funds (188).” Keeping that in mind, why is it do you believe that donors continue to donate when museums are so guarded and standoffish when it comes to being open about their possessions and economic state, and when curators seemingly displays only those works they purchased? Furthermore, do you agree with Thompson when he states then when curators do so “purchase price is presented to museum patrons as equal to value (188)?”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Would you rather have an old shark or a fresh one?

Thompson contends that the best artists to look for in order to gain a successful investment are in the category of conceptual innovators or young geniuses (Thompson, 248). Do you agree with this broad generalization?

See any cracks within a theory...

Would you consider Galenson’s theory about the two geniuses completely logical? Are there only two major types of creators in the world? Review chapter three, especially from the reading 9/10 section, and argue whether or not he succeeds in defining this argument’s possible limitations. If he is correct, how so, or is there a major crack that can rip his theory apart?

In the eyes of the Beholder....

Thompson in The $12 Million Stuffed Shark brings into discussion the potential existence of insider trading in the art world – a topic which we also discussed in class. Thompson particularly addresses this controversial issue in regards to a museum using donor funds to purchase art created by one of its own trustees, as well as a museum director’s purchase of art by an artist who will be part of a show that is not yet announced (discussed in more detail on page 221). In a commodities market this is considered to be illegal insider trading called “front-running”. However, the art market defends such acts by insisting that they are beneficial to all involved. Thompson does not exclude dealers or auction houses from the accusations, bringing to light the often shared information between auction houses such cliental lists and a client’s available capital. In your opinion, do you believe that insider trading does exist in the art market and if so, do you believe its presence is so detrimental to the merit of art that the participants should be fully prosecuted under the law, or do you believe they should be merely reprimanded?

Also, if you’re like me and are not totally sure what insider trading is, here is a link to a definition/description of it by our fine government: :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What is Art History?

John Elderfield, senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art has remarked that "the true subject of art history is the narrative and analysis of the succession of innovations that have changed the practice of artists over the course of time."

Do you agree with this statement? If you do, give an example of evidence to support his claim.
If you do not agree, state why.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

About the Relationship Between the Creator and the Employed....

Do you feel that persons involved in the creation of a work other than the artist should be credited with involvment? For example, should Vic Hislop- the fisherman who caught the sharks used in both the original "Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" and the updated version - have his name next to Damien Hirst's? Hislop arguably played a pivotal role in the creation of the work, being the individual who actually caught the shark. If so, shouldn't he then share in the profits from the selling of the work? If this is the case, should we not also acknowledge the employees of Warhol, and the aids to Michelangelo?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another About Pollock

When viewing the painting in question from Who the Bleep is Jackson Pollock, what was your first impression of the work in question? For me personally, my gut instinct told me that it looked a little like a fake. For me, there was just something off about it. The colors strangeness gave me a first impression that this is not an original Pollock. By reviewing the chapter "Fakes" in Thompson's Stuffed Shark, as well as your reflections of that day and the movie source, tell me what your first impression of the work was. Did this first impression change in any way because of the presentation within the movie, the textual readings, or any other possible sources? Which do you consider as the more substantial proof of determining an authenticity of an artwork? For example, do you trust your instinct more or that of critical analysis or scientific evidence?