Apollo Magazine

Art Outlook: 26 June

Top jobs, major refurbishments, and big blockbuster shows: a round-up of news and discussion this week

The Mauritshuis, The Hague.

The Mauritshuis, The Hague. Photo: Ivo Hoekstra, August 2013

Some of the stories and discussions we’ve spotted online this week:

Changes at the top: Chris Smith is appointed chairman of the Art Fund…

During his stint as the UK’s culture secretary (1997–2001) Smith was instrumental in securing free entry to public museums, more support for regional museums, and significant changes in the acceptance in lieu scheme. He takes over from David Verey at the Art Fund next month.

…and Nicholas Penny announces his retirement

Penny has announced his intention to retire from his job as director of the National Gallery in London next year. With Sandy Nairne also planning to leave his post at the neighbouring National Portrait Gallery, that leaves two major directorships open in the UK capital.

Legal action to confirm the future of the Warburg Institute

The future of the Warburg Institute’s collection of around 350,000 books is in question. The University of London is seeking a court hearing to clarify the terms of the deed of trust, little more than a page in length, that first brought the collection under its trusteeship in 1944.

Mauritshuis reopens in The Hague

After a two-year renovation project and a highly-publicised tour of key works from its collection, the Mauritshuis reopens its doors to the public tomorrow.

Summer blockbuster: Jeff Koons at the Whitney Museum

The hype surrounding the Whitney’s retrospective of the world’s most expensive living artist has been extraordinary. But Jason Farago, writing in the Guardian, calls it an ‘orderly, even hesitant show’.

The Foundling Museum wins more independence from Coram

Two years ago, the Foundling Museum’s collection looked threatened as children’s charity Coram attempted to take more direct control over the gallery. Their joint announcement this week, however, suggests they’ve reached a resolution.

Instagram in the art gallery

How do social media phenomenons such as selfie and Instagram relate to fine art and art history? Self-portraits are increasingly compared with, or even labelled as, selfies; and now, in Yale, one gallery has mounted an exhibition devoted entirely to Instagram photographs.

The best in digital developments

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts supports a host of fascinating cultural projects. This list of some of the most interesting examples – from creative hack days to the Digital Museum in Romania – is worth a read.

Out with the old? Changes to Italy’s entrance fees

Italy is changing its museum entrance fee policy, abolishing free entry for over 65s and offering it instead to under 18s. Anybody can go free on Sundays, though…

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