There are more museums in the US than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. (The figures: Starbucks 11,000, McDonald’s 14,000, museums 35,000). These ‘Wonder Houses’ – as Kipling inspiringly described his father’s museum in Lahore via his character in Kim (1901) – are scattered all over the continent, and they have some unexpected and excellent events planned for 2017.
The blockbuster of the year starts in September: the four-month ‘Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA’ will have southern California buzzing with art from LA to San Diego. Some 70 institutions respond to the connecting theme of Latin America and Latino Art, mounting shows that result from three years of research supported by the Getty. I’d recommend taking a room at a traditional beachside hotel near the participating Laguna Art Museum, and exploring it all from there.
In the midwest, IU Eskenazi Museum of Art at Bloomington, Indiana, is showing its fine Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo drawings given by Anthony J. Moravec (until 5 February). Down in Dallas, the Meadows Museum will be showing more drawings, perhaps the largest gathering yet of Jusepe de Ribera’s (12 March–11 June), while 30 minutes along the highway the exceptional Kimbell Art Museum celebrates Louis Kahn – their own building is one of the master’s finest (26 March–25 June).
In the north east, MASS MoCA – the brilliantly conceived and executed arts institute housed in a converted factory complex in North Adams, MA – is reopening its restored Building 6 in May. Its programme will include long-term collaborations with Jenny Holzer, James Turrell, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and more. In contrast, the comprehensive Corning Museum of Glass in neighbouring New York state has hooked up with the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass for the first major show about Tiffany mosaics (20 May–7 January 2018). There will be fire surrounds and decorative panels, drawings and samples, as well digitised photographs that document the many decorative schemes Tiffany’s hundreds of international craftsmen created for spaces ranging from churches to conservatories. Once you get there, stay on to tour the area’s in situ Tiffany mosaics.
New York City cannot be omitted. Here’s an unexpected gem: at the Met, seek out the thought-provoking pictures by Y.G. Srimati (1926–2007), an Indian who moved between India and New York, was inspired by both 6th-century Buddhist frescoes in Ajanta and India’s independence movement, and illustrated a fine New York publication of the Purana texts (until 18 June). Of the too-many art fairs held here, the ones to visit are the citywide Asia Week New York (9–18 March), easily the best of its kind, and the second iteration of TEFAF New York (4–8 May) – which just might coincide with the magnolia blossoms in the Frick Collection’s front garden.
Louise Nicholson is an art historian and critic.
Keep up with Apollo’s 12 Days selection of art highlights here.