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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Museum Mile

Good Financial
Fortnight for PMA
By Richard Carreño
Junto Senior Staff Writer Bio
A Non-Profit Profits
It's been a good fortnight, financially, for the non-profit Philadelphia Museum of Art.

OK. Technically, not for profit. But sort of 'for-profit' too; it charges admission to a building that's owned by the public. And more money keeps flowing to its PMA coffers. Some public. Some private.

Last week, it was $40-million in public funds from the Rendell Admnistration.

This week, the Pew Charitable Trusts, which have had a historically cozy relationship with the museum, announced a grant of more than $2-million in private money to the PMA under is Cultural Leadership Program, which dedicates funding to non-profits that 'demonstrate excellence in operations, fiscal management, and programming.'

The PMA itself received a grant of $1.92-million. Its satellite, the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, the PMA's art school in South Philadelphia, was awarded another $96,000.

Happily, the Brandywine River Museum, in suburban Chadds Ford, a brilliant jewel dedicated to American art, also received recognition, $184,000. The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Centre City, a place I know well, got $30,000.

Lenape Nation to pledge 'friendship' at Penn Museum
From noon through the afternoon, on Saturday, August 21, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania will join the public in a ritual signing of the 'Treaty of Renewed Friendship' at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

The occasion, which occurs every four years, commits signatories to work as 'partners' with the Lenape Nation, the principal Native American tribe in eastern Pennsylvania, as 'caretakers of their sacred homeland.'

The museum suggests an admission donation, $10 for adults, $7 for persons 65 or older, $6 for full-time students. Of course, you can donate a free-will offering of your choice. The Penn Museum is actually free.

The Gate: PMA lags way behind the Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has topped the 5 million visitor mark for fiscal 2009, the first time since 2001 that the Met hit that attendance milestone.

The Met's director, Thomas P. Campbell, called the figure a 'landmark' that 'underscores the vibrancy of the Metropolitan Museum's exhibitions and collections for its audiences from around the world....'

In contrast, the Philadelphia Museum of Art reported a fiscal 2009 attendance of 812,479, according to an authoritative listing tallied by the London-based Art Newspaper. Given last-minute adjustments, that figure has likely increased to closer to 1 million.

The museum's world largest gate is held by the Louvre, with a steady 8.5 million annual visitors, the Art Newspaper reported.

LA gets a shot at Eakins too
While the Philadelphia Museum of Art is celebrating the restored The Gross Clinic, Thomas Eakins' masterwork, museum-goers in Los Angeles are also getting a taste of the artist, as well.

In Philadelphia, Eakins is revealed as the genre realist, depicting the raw life of medicine and surgery.

In LA, the genre is Eakins' life-long interest in sports, principally rowing and boxing.

The show, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, titled 'Manly Pursuits: The Sporting Art of Thomas Eakins,' runs to October 17.

No word whether the show includes Eakins' lesser known sporting interest, equestrianism.

A First for Princeton Museum
The Princeton University Museum of Art, one of my favourite hinterland art venues, has appointed Kelly Baum as its first curator of modern and contemporary art, museum director James Steward announced.

Since 2007, Baum has served as a felow for contemporary art. Since that time, according to Steward, Baum has 'greatly invigorated the museum's contemporary art department, expanded and diversified the contemporary collection, and developed an international artist-in-residency program.'