Recent links of note:
“Susan Jaffe to Be Next Artistic Director at American Ballet Theater”
Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times
American Ballet Theatre has just announced that Susan Jaffe will take over as artistic director at the end of 2022, following the retirement of Kevin McKenzie, who has led “America’s National Ballet Company” for the last thirty years. As Roslyn Sulcas reports in The New York Times, Jaffe was “one of the few American ballerinas of her generation to establish an international career,” after being plucked from the corps at age eighteen to dance a lead part in Le Corsaire by then-director Mikhail Baryshnikov. A principal dancer at ABT from 1983 to 2002, she returns to the company with a vision that will encompass touring more frequently and commissioning full-length ballets. It is unknown whether the company will extend a formal relationship with the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, whom Jaffe calls “a tremendous artist” and whose contract ends next year.
“The Iron Duke’s feminine side”
Boyd Tonkin, Times Literary Supplement
Apsley House, the former residence of the Duke of Wellington located at Hyde Park Corner, has perhaps the grandest address in the country: Number One, London. Now a museum dedicated to the hero of Waterloo, Apsley House is the host of an intriguing new exhibition on the Duke’s confidantes titled “Wellington, Women and Friendship.” As Boyd Tonkin writes in the Times Literary Supplement, the Duke, “for all his alpha-male aura, was widely known and often mocked as a man who preferred the company of women.” Through diaries, letters, caricatures, and portraits, the exhibition sheds light on this discreet soldier and statesman’s friendships with a number of women, including his Baltimore-born sister-in-law Marianne Patterson and the anti-Bonapartist French writer Germaine de Staël. Another focus is his disastrous marriage with Kitty Pakenham, with whom he was “not in the least in love” and whose diaries reveal a miserable, monotonous existence: “Much as yesterday, languid and dawdling.” Though Wellington apparently disliked poetry, he was fond of music, art, and opera. In this exhibition, writes Tonkin, the Iron Duke “emerges not so much as a great seducer as a thwarted romantic.”
“Time is up on relaxed rules for US museums wanting to sell their works—did this brief shift have any lasting impact?”
Justin Kamp, The Art Newspaper
In April 2020, the Association of Art Museum Directors announced that the usually stringent rules for deaccessing artwork would be loosened for two years. Intended to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic on museums, the controversial resolutions, which enabled museums to use the funds from selling artwork to fund the “direct care of collections,” rather than art acquisitions alone, expired this April. In this report for The Art Newspaper, Justin Kamp examines whether this two-year policy has had “any lasting impact on U. S. museum leadership at large.” Some, like the art lawyer Donn Zaretsky, argue that the pandemic rules should be extended indefinitely. But most museums seem comfortable abiding by the original guidelines. Andrea Bayer, the Met’s deputy director for collections and administration, says that museums should be “funded through philanthropy and revenues, not the selling of art.” During the pandemic, the Met chose only to sell photographs and prints, all of which had duplicates that remain in the museum collection. Just yesterday, the museum sold Tête de femme (Fernande), a 1909 bronze sculpture by Picasso, at Christie’s, but reasoned that they had just been given an identical second cast of the work and promised that the funds would be used to purchase more art.
“Worlds apart” by David Platzer. On “Marcel Proust: On his mother’s side” at the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, Paris.