New York Chauvinism? “Groundbreaking” Show at the Whitney Builds on Dartmouth College’s Lead

I didn’t disclose my contrarian reaction to the Whitney Museum’s Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art when it opened last February. But now I feel less compunction about tempering the praise lavished by art critics on this exploration of how U.S. modernists were inspired by Mexican painters. – Lee Rosenbaum

Source: Lee Rosenbaum

“An Act of Empathy” — a Dvořák Radio Documentary

When PostClassical Ensemble produced an hour-long film about Dvořák and “the American experience of race” last September, we hardly envisioned turning it into a 45-minute public radio special for the holidays. But that’s what happened, thanks to an invitation from Rupert Allman, who produces the nationally distributed radio magazine 1A. – Joseph Horowitz

Source: Joseph Horowitz

The Erasure of the Arts

To me the most salient feature of The Upswing, the important new book co-authored by the sociologist Robert Putnam (who also wrote Bowling Alone) on the disappearance of “social capital,” is incidental: the authors completely fail to consider the arts. In fact, I have the uncomfortable feeling that The Upswing may partly be a symptom of the shortcomings it observes. And it is not alone. – Joseph Horowitz

Source: Joseph Horowitz

‘Burroughs and the Dharma,’ the Real Story

James Grauerholz: “William was not a Buddhist: he never sought or found a “Teacher,” he never took Refuge, and he never undertook any Bodhisattva vows. He did not consider himself a Buddhist, nor — for that matter — did he ever declare himself a follower of any one faith or practice. But he did have an awareness of the essentials of Buddhism, and in his own way, he was affected by bodhidharma.” – Jan Herman

Source: Jan Herman

Frick Tricks: Reinvention to Convention, as Peripatetic Displays Move from Brutalist to Beaux Arts

While many museums are experimenting with quirky new ways of organizing their permanent-collection displays, the Frick Collection is going in the opposite direction: It will use its planned temporary occupation of the Breuer building to unveil a more conventionally coherent presentation of its holdings than was seen in its flagship building. – Lee Rosenbaum

Source: Lee Rosenbaum

Dancing on Stone and in Water

I’ve said it before, and forgive me if I say it again: Dancers can’t not dance. There they are on my laptop’s window — at work in their apartments, in parks, on piers, and in empty streets. Maybe partners and roommates have filmed you performing; maybe you just attached your cell phone to a music stand and shooed the cat away. Dušan Týnek’s Quarry Dance IX is nothing like that. – Deborah Jowitt

Source: Deborah Jowitt

Deaccession Dejection: Whither the Embattled Baltimore Museum of Art? (plus: Brooklyn’s castoffs)

The BMA’s deaccession debacle has put the reputations of the museum itself and the Association of Art Museum Directors at risk. What still isn’t clear is whether the sales of those three works have been merely “paused” (in the words of the museum’s press release) or canceled. – Lee Rosenbaum

Source: Lee Rosenbaum