The Week in Short: NYC cinemas contend with lockdown, creepy dolls compete and more art stories

The Week in Short: NYC cinemas contend with lockdown, creepy dolls compete and more art stories
One creepy doll. Photo: Steve McDonald.

This week’s art stories, in short.

  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo gave the go-ahead for cinemas to open across the state — but not in “hot spots” such as New York City. The New York Times reports on how the local cinemas are faring. [The New York Times]
  • The Museum of Modern Art went viral with a Kim Kardashian art meme depicting Henri Matisse’s “Dance (I).” [Hyperallergic]

  • Following public outcry, the Baltimore Museum of Art paused the auction of three-prized artworks: Clyfford Still’s “1957-G,” Brice Marden’s “3” and Andy Warhol’s “The Last Supper.” The two former pieces were headed to Sotheby’s Auction House in New York City Wednesday, and the latter was slated to be presented at a private sale.

The works were estimated to bring in $65 million, which the museum said would be used for diversity initiatives. Critics protested the decision to deaccession on the grounds that the works were the only pieces by the artists held within the collection.

“We believe that this effort is not about sacrificing history but about telling a more accurate and complete narrative of art, culture and people,” the museum wrote in the announcement. “We do not abide by notions that museums exist to serve objects; we believe the objects in our collection must reflect, engage and inspire the many different individuals that we serve.” [The Baltimore Sun]

  • Also in museum controversies, the National Gallery in Washington will open its Philip Guston retrospective in 2022 after critics blasted the institution’s decision to delay until 2024. The museum contended that it needed time to further contextualize the artist’s depictions of Ku Klux Klansmen, though detractors argued that the decision “amounted to self-censorship fueled by fear of controversy,” according to The New York Times.

In September, an open letter outlining criticisms was posted in The Brooklyn Rail. Since the response was posted, over 2,600 artists, curators, writers and critics have signed their support. [The New York Times

  • Customers flocked to the Strand Book Store after it put out a plea last week urging book lovers to help its sales. [ALL ARTS]
  • Recommended reading: Valeria Luiselli wrote about Dorothea Lange’s photographs and her fear of exhibiting her images in the landmark Museum of Modern Art retrospective of her work.

“What exactly had she been afraid of? Maybe she was simply worried that she might not be able to finish her selection in time,” Luiselli posits in the piece. “Perhaps she thought that her work would be misunderstood, and was doubting herself the way so many women do whenever we interact with hierarchical institutions that open their doors to us only as widely as conventional narratives allow.” [The New York Review]

  • As the election approaches, a torrent of voting images from artists makes landfall. [Artnet News]
  • If you’re looking for some art news that will scare you, the History Center of Olmsted County revived its Creepy Doll Contest. [Minnesota Public Radio

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CREEPY DOLL CONTEST! The eerie Creepy Dolls have risen once more, demanding some Halloween fun. Vote for your favorites by liking their posts by October 28 at midnight. The winning doll will be revealed at our virtual Creepy Doll Cocktail Party on Halloween night! This doll belonged to Aranetha Sharp Walton. The doll features a head made from tin and human hair braided into a wig. The face has painted on features. The date range for this doll is 1861 to 1930s. We know the pandemic is going to make this Halloween season weird. Join the ominous Creepy Dolls for a virtual Trick-or-Treat celebration unlike any other! Visit us at for more Creepy Doll Halloween activities including a Creepy Doll Costume Pageant! #creepydollcontest #creepydollcostumepageant #curatorbattle #curators #mnmuseum #museumsarefun #historyisfun #artifacts #halloween2020 #rochestermn #rochmn #olmstedcounty #rochester_mn #creepydollsofinstagram #creepydolls #pageant #pageants #costumedesigner #costume #halloweencostume #costumecontest #costumeparty #contest #creepyart #creepystyle #creepy #vintagedoll #vintagedolls #horrorcollector #halloween

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