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Art Collection On Uptick

from the LA Times

Red ButtonsThe Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

ACQUISITION: U.S. artist Reginald Marsh’s “ Red Buttons” (1936) is among works picked up by the Huntington.

ART

 

L.A. museums’ collections grow despite poor economy

Philanthropists’ generosity and the hard work of museum staffs and support groups turn 2008 into a surprisingly good year for acquisitions.

By Suzanne Muchnic February 11, 2009

 

As Los Angeles art museums face the future in a down economy, building their collections may not be the highest priority, but it’s a big worry.

 

Will art acquisition funds dwindle to nothing? Will once-dependable patrons stop writing checks when curators pass the hat for art purchases? Will potential art gifts go to market? Will more museums pool resources to make joint purchases, as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Fowler Museum at UCLA recently did to buy a huge tapestry-like construction made by African artist El Anatsui using metal castoffs?

 

No one knows, and not only because it’s impossible to predict the length and force of the ongoing financial storm. Cash donations for acquisitions can be expected to plummet, but gifts of art are less predictable. In good times and bad, artworks come to museums in various ways — from friends and complete strangers.

 

[ click to continue reading at the LA Times ]

Posted on February 16, 2009 by Editor

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