If vintage crime scene photographs are your thing, don’t miss Paris Photo LA, coming April 25. This year they’re featuring UNEDITED!, a selection of “carefully curated” photos from the LAPD archive. Billed as “the most famous police agency on earth” (which Interpol, Scotland Yard and NYPD would have nothing to say about, surely), LAPD has a juicy, cinematic trove of photographic goodies that document crime scenes straight out of Chinatown. Gosh.
In a new video about Metropolis II, Chris Burden’s mini-city toy car piece which has been on view at LACMA for a couple of years, the artist bemoans the stressful stop-and-go of LA traffic: “I love hearing that the cars are going 230 miles an hour,” he said. “That’s about the speed they should be running, not 23.4 miles an hour which is what my BMW says I average driving around LA.”
A joint study by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), released yesterday, finds that museum directors that are female make lower salaries than those that are male. The study’s research considered two main questions: “What is the current state of women in art museum directorships?” and “What are some factors that may drive the gender gap?”
Some of the study’s most notable findings show that, on average, women museum directors make $0.79 to every $1.00 of their male counterparts and $0.71 to every male dollar in the top tier museums whose annual budgets exceed $15 million. However, the study also found that in the lower tiered museums, that is, those with budgets less than $15 million, women directors made more than male directors. In this segment, women directors made an average of $1.02 compared to the $1.00 for male directors.
The AAMD/NCAR study also found that the gender gap could be accounted for by the salary disadvantage dealt to directors that achieve their positions through internal promotions from within an institution. The same disadvantage falls to both men and women; however, the percentage of women promoted to director internally is greater than men, accounting for some aspect of the salary differential between their male colleagues.
As reported by the New York Times in regards to the study, many professional arts training programs formed in recent years have helped facilitate the success of more female museum curators and professionals, landing many of them directorial positions in many mid-size museums. These have helped add more diversity to the professional museum pool, even if it was a man coming out of one of those programs (the Center for Curatorial Leadership) who landed the biggest job, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which boasts a $52 million budget.
The Report on Gender Gaps in Museum Directorships, spearheaded by New Museum Director Lisa Philips, AAMD’s Professional Issues Committee Chair, was released yesterday in time for International Women’s Day.
As reported in the Santa Monica Daily Press, the plans for an overhaul of Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station have finally been unveiled. The gallery complex has gotten pretty snoozy (save for a handful of the better galleries there) since arguably being the heart of the LA gallery scene in the 90s. But crafty developers, perhaps responding to the nearby Hines mega-project Bergamot Transit Village, want to fluff the old Station with a “swanky” hotel, office space, and perhaps most importantly, a new 4-storey home for the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
San Diego artist and longtime UCSD professor Ernest Silva died suddenly last week at the age of 65. In a tribute posted to culturebuzz, Robert Pincus remembers Silva’s illustrative painting style that explored a dark side of suburban life. As a longtime supporter of the San Diego art scene, Silva’s influence was perhaps most felt through his work as a teacher. Tributes from Silva’s former students have been piling up on his Facebook page, where his humor and generosity of spirit are celebrated. A memorial service will be held in the Atkinson Pavilion of the Faculty Club on the UCSD campus on Tuesday, March 4 at 4 p.m.
Mike Russell Parker, legendary typographer, type designer and type historian, has died at the age of 85. Credited with the development of over 1,100 typefaces, Parker is perhaps best known for introducing Helvetica to the world.
As director of the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, Parker was a fan of the “rational” Swiss style of letter design, in which, he said, “you draw the counters and let the black fall where it will.” reports Fast Company. Parker and his team took the font Neue Haas Grotesk and reworked it for Linotype’s machines, The font eventually became known as Helvetica, one of the most popular fonts in the world (used by McDonald’s, Verizon, NYC subway signs, and NASA, to name a tiny fraction). In 2007, the year of the font’s 50th anniversary, it was celebrated and strangely debated in the critically acclaimed documentary Helvetica and was the subject of the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition 50 Years of Helvetica.
Parker was born in London and originally planned to become a geologist like his father, but then decided to become a painter, but discovered he was colorblind. He graduated from Yale with an undergraduate degree in architecture and master’s in design. After working at Linotype, he co-founded Bitstream, the first company dedicated to producing digital fonts, according to CNN.com. He also founded Pages Software and served as historian for the Font Bureau. Parker died on Sunday, four days after suffering a stroke, after a long fight with Alzheimer’s. According to his caregiver and ex-wife, his ashes will be scattered at his family home in Massachusetts, without a tombstone.
NYC artist Jon Burgerman has created a series of photographs in which he is “shot” by movie posters. A comment on gun violence in America and the violent imagery promoted by the movie industry, Burgerman’s series “Head Shots” nonetheless has a comical tinge to it — there’s no CGI realism here, but rather the ketchupy fake blood of old B movies, with Burgerman always in a yellow puffer jacket, presumably for contrast. Don’t miss the ones of him being shot by arrows from posters for Catching Fire and The Hobbit. [via the Guardian]
While the legendary smog in Los Angeles is reportedly on the decline, it’s still a problem elsewhere in the state: witness Bakersfield, where the air quality is reportedly the worst in the nation (which has some stiff competition). In a new photo essay on Art F City, Bakersfield-based artist Jesse Sugarmann records the “form and beauty” of the city’s persistent haze.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the oldest privately supported art museum in the US, has reached a preliminary agreement with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University (GWU) to take stewardship of its art collection, college and landmark Washington, DC building. Under the proposed three-way agreement, the Corcoran’s College of Art and Design, as well as its Beaux-Arts home near the White House, would fall to GWU.
The Corcoran’s collection of some 17,000 world-class artworks would go to the National Gallery, who will oversee exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in the building under the name Corcoran Contemporary, National Gallery of Art. They will also maintain a Corcoran Legacy Gallery, featuring works closely associated with the Corcoran’s history. The plan is that the National Gallery will absorb as much of the collection as possible, especially in areas in which it is lacking (such as the Corcoran’s excellent contemporary collection) and redistribute the rest to other museum collections, with a preference for DC area museums. But, as the Washington Post reports, “much of the collection could end up in Tennessee or Alaska.”
Most involved in the proposal seem to be trying to put a positive spin on it (The National Gallery is free and more accessible! GWU will pay for the building’s much-needed renovation! Most of the art will stay in DC!), yet most comments include a tinge of sadness at the loss of the Corcoran’s 140-year-old independent spirit. “There is no way to continue the Corcoran as we knew it or as we know it,” Peggy Loar, interim director and president of the Corcoran told the Washington Post. “That’s going to be the kernel of pain for some people.”
If you like charming oddball drawings, and you like crafty things but have no craft skills/inclinations yourself, you’re in luck: Jenny Hart of Sublime Stiching has turned the drawings of Machine Project‘s impresario Mark Allen into cute pillows (and patterns, for the craft-ambitious)! They’ll be showing their wares at Alias Books in Atwater Village this Friday, 2/21/14 from 7-9 pm!