- A historian claims to have found “the only demonstrably authentic portrait of Shakespeare made in his lifetime” on the cover of a book from 1598.
- An interview with the founder of the Museum of Bad Art, “the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and celebration of bad art in all its forms.”
- And how does one decide what’s bad? After the outcry over a plan to erect a pink sculpture in Long Island City, New York’s City Council passed a bill this week requiring public hearings before some public art projects can be installed. It still needs to be signed by the governor.
Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass was the scandal of the year in France when it was exhibited in the 1863 Salon des Refusés, and Olympia was greeted with the same shock and indignation in the Paris Salon of 1865 (a journalist wrote, “If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration”). So selling tickets to show a new painting in America that was too controversial for France seemed a surefire way to get attention—and perhaps make a little money.
From 1867 to 1869, Édouard Manet had made some works depicting the execution of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico in 1867. But considering that Maximilian’s empire had collapsed after Napoleon III withdrew his support, it was not prudent to exhibit them in France while Napoleon remained in power.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded Artstor and five collaborating institutions a three-year National Leadership Grant, with an award of $749,418. The funds will be used to support the development of free software to enable museums to contribute digital image collections for open access through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).