Wednesday Bits: Broad Benefits & Cross-Pollination

The Broad: onside and out
The Broad: onside and out

Trickle Down Taste

The Broad opens this Sunday, in downtown Los Angeles —a stunning concrete lattice construction housing three floors that sample Eli and Edythe Broad’s personal collection. The most marvelous thing about it is the way that it stands as a shining example of a trickle down economy of taste.

Everyone wins when a foundation pours resources and gigantic funds into housing a private collection in public.

I wrote, a while back, about the benefits that are garnered by collectors who place their works in private museums: the tax write-offs, the ideal display, maintenance and storage of your collection, getting to play the heroic role of philanthropist, the warm fuzzies of “giving” your art to the public. There’s also the added value accrued by a museum imprimatur; placed in the canon, the donor’s collection receives reviews and praise, becoming more desirable and, when valuated or sold, achieving higher prices.

But those benefits to the collectors and their foundations can be weighed against the benefits to the public, and the balance can indeed look perfect. The Broad will bring a new sort of tourist to the city of course, and some art world prestige; it will also allow people to see works on a regular basis which would otherwise be rarely, if ever, seen by them. What is more, the museum will nearly guarantee that the artwork is well preserved — a boon to the Broads, yes, but, considering that the Broads have amassed an impressively comprehensive collection of some of the most influential contemporary artists to date— also a boon to art history.

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Cross-pollination is the new Disruption

J RothTrending: as distribution and promotion are increasingly important in the art world Talent agencies are discovering fine art. Now, a recent New York Times article about

Joshua Roth, an artist repping lawyer being hired by United Talent Agency to head its new fine arts division. A must read for any who suspect, as I do, that too much contemporary art is about spin and spinning spin-offs.

Says Roth:

“I’m interested in artists who are re-envisioning the way to make art and re-envisioning how people experience it,” he said. “And I think our agency can be really helpful in that way. We want to help find opportunities for artists outside of the gallery.”

 

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