Report: MOCA L.A. Director Announcement in the Spring [Updated]

Installation view of MOCA's 2013 Urs Fischer show. (Getty Images)

It’s been almost six months since Jeffrey Deitch resigned as director of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, and despite recent rumors that an announcement of his replacement was imminent, and comments from the museum’s interim director, Maria Seferian, last month that a candidate was expected by the end of the year, it now appears that a name will not be released until the spring, according to board co-chair Maria Bell. [An earlier version of this post stated that an announcement could come as soon as this week; a full correction follows at the end of this article.] Read More


Not Just for Snowbirds: Forget the Beach—Miami’s Hometown Museum Is Heating Up


Miami has more than once been called an ungovernable city, and, true to form, its museum scene is balkanized and unruly. Private museums run by deep-pocketed contemporary art collectors like the Rubells and the de la Cruzes have dominated the scene in recent years, largely buying work with an eye on the market. The hometown Miami Art Museum, which receives public financing, is just 30 years old and only began acquiring work in 1996. Meanwhile, there are reports that, following the recent failure of a bond referendum for an expansion, North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art may leave its current home and merge with South Beach’s Bass Museum of Art, a scattershot museum founded by private collectors 50 years ago. MOCA denies this. Read More


Took a Little Trip to Mexico: Collector Eugenio López Inaugurates Mexico City Museum

Museo Jumex in Mexico City. (Photo by The New York Observer)

This past weekend in Mexico City, 46-year-old Eugenio López Alonso, sole heir to the Jumex juice empire, inaugurated Museo Jumex, a 43,000-square-foot David Chipperfield-designed private museum for his foundation’s collection of 2,000-plus contemporary artworks. An elegant three-story layer cake made of light-brown travertine, it’s located in the tony Polanco district, near a Saks Fifth Avenue, a Crate & Barrel and rising skyscrapers. Next door is another private museum, the Museo Soumaya, a garish, windowless building that the world’s richest man, telecommunications titan Carlos Slim, built in 2011 to house his own art holdings, which are astoundingly mediocre. Read More


King of Queens: Tom Finkelpearl’s Game-Changing Museum Gets Bigger


Tom Finkelpearl hates the word “outreach.” The executive director of the Queens Museum was sitting in his office, a small, nearly windowless room sparely decorated with a few photographs and some fairly uncomfortable furniture, fielding questions from staff that tend to walk in unannounced through the open door. He was outfitted in his usual uniform of nondescript black pants, blue button-down, Skechers sneakers masquerading as dress shoes and rectangular glasses. A hardhat, a bottle of hand sanitizer and an antiquated printer were among the items atop his desk. “I think there’s a difference between outreach and community engagement,” he said. “Outreach is ‘they’re out there and we’re in here.’”

That’s why, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg cuts the ribbon on the brand new, $69 million expansion of the Queens Museum this week, the ceremony will mark more than a facelift for an institution long overshadowed by the rusty relics of World’s Fairs. The glass-dominated addition, with its airy sky-lit atrium and sleek new suite of galleries, is stunning, yes, but the cathedral-like space is only an outward sign of inward grace, an indication of the radical work that has been quietly happening there for years. Read More


Three New Exhibition Series at the Jewish Museum

Detail of Claire Fontaine's 'Tears,' 2013. (Courtesy the artist)

The leaders of the Jewish Museum, its becoming clear, are an indefatigable bunch. Its deputy director, Jens Hoffmann, has taken to organizing an HUO-style salon at 7 a.m. once a month at venues around town, and today the museum announced it’s at work on no fewer than three new exhibition series that is says “demonstrate [its] commitment to exploring art and culture, historical and contemporary, while infusing it with an up-to-date sensibility and a global perspective.” Read More


First Metal Badges, Now the Free Help: Met’s Membership Desk Volunteers Nixed for Paid Employees

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will convert the volunteer positions at its three membership desks into paid part-time jobs starting Nov. 1.

“The fact is that because of new technologies and also the expansion of auditing and compliance requirements, the demands on membership have really been changing over the last year and they’ve increased dramatically at this point,” said Harold Holzer, senior vice president for public affairs at the museum. “All of those [reasons] prompted reexamination of the way the desks are staffed, and we really think that we need paid employees working at the desks.” Read More