Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Two Miami-Dade museums win Kellogg Foundation grants - postedby FFAB

Two Miami-Dade museums win Kellogg Foundation grants
By Hannah Sampson

Two Miami-Dade institutions — the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and the Bass Museum of Art — have been named recipients of W.K. Kellogg Foundation grants for programs that foster family engagement in early childhood education.

More than 1,100 applications poured in last year after the Michigan-based philanthropic foundation asked for proposals, a higher number than any previous individual grant opportunity. In the end, 30 organizations were chosen by the foundation to receive a total of $13.7 million.

“This was an eye-opening moment for us,” La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation, said in a statement. “We knew there was a need and a value around the issue of family engagement, but we didn’t realize the extent of the shared value around families’ desire to more deeply engage in their children’s education.” 

The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, which gets $500,000, was the only art museum awarded a grant. 

Silvia Karman Cubiñá, executive director and chief curator of the Bass, said the grant will allow the museum to expand efforts that began about a year ago to reach out to more diverse audiences with young children throughout the community. 

With the help of the grant, the museum will train between 25-30 ambassadors over 3 years, which Cubiñá said would have an impact on 30,000 children and families.

At the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, the grant of nearly $450,000 will support the Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS) Family Engagement program, which helps preschool teachers, assistants and families to get more comfortable with science education and the museum.

The science museum is setting up the program in three large model demonstration sites in north, central and south Miami-Dade. There, teachers and parent leaders will use the ECHOS program and parents and children will also experience what the museum has to offer.

“When we were selected, we felt very privileged and happy,” said Judy Brown, the museum’s senior vice president for education. “I would say ecstatic.”

Felicia DeHaney, the Kellogg Foundation’s director of education and learning, said the grants are meant to address one of the great challenges in education: developing authentic relationships with parents and other caregivers.

“When people recognize the need to involve families and those programs that are respecting and partnering with families, they realize the benefits that come not only short-term but long-term,” she said. 

Miami Herald Article
Kellogg Foundation Website

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rodin Sculptures used for Diagnosis by Stanford Doctors - posted by FFAB

Rodin Sculptures used for Diagnosis by Stanford Doctors
I have previously posted about Medical Schools leveraging artwork to train their medical students.  In this video Rodin's knowledge of anatomy is put to the test.  

I love how not only have the doctors been able to diagnose the aliments found in the sculptures but in an augmented virtual environment they even performed the surgery to correct. GL

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Winslow Homer painting "Milking Time" may be sold by Museum - posted by FFAB

Winslow Homer "Milking Time" 1875

Winslow Homer painting removed from Delaware Art Museum, may be sold to pay debt


WILMINGTON, Delaware — One of the Delaware Art Museum's most treasured works has been taken off the museum's collections database as the museum prepares to sell artworks to repay debt and replenish its endowment.

The News Journal ( ) reported Saturday that Winslow Homer's painting "Milking Time" disappeared from the museum's collections database. But museum officials won't confirm whether the 1875 painting is among the works to be sold.

Museum and art experts said the change likely signals the painting of rural America will be sold. On Saturday, the painting of a milkmaid and child looking at cows was no longer hanging in the museum.

Board members have said they won't release the names of works to be sold because it could lower their value on the market. Museum CEO Mike Miller would not explain why Homer's painting was removed.

"You can make your own speculations," he said.

The museum has said it's planning to sell as many as four artworks by October to repay nearly $20 million in debt from a 2005 expansion. Museum leaders said the only other alternative was to shut down.

The Association of Art Museum Directors has strongly opposed the museum board's decision to sell artworks. The move violates national museum standards and the Delaware museum's own collections policy. It could result in sanctions or a possible loss of the museum's accreditation.

"Milking Time" was purchased in 1967 using a bank loan and donations from the group Friends of Art, Miller said. Art experts said it's a "landmark painting" for Homer and that it is extremely rare for a Homer piece of that quality to leave a museum.

Danielle Rice, the museum's former executive director, said that shortly after she began leading the museum in 2005, trustees began pressuring her to sell art to pay off construction debt. Rice said she threatened to resign and urged trustees to pursue alternatives.

"You just basically keep knocking on doors," she said. "You can always get a mortgage."

The state has declined to intervene to stop the art sale or provide funding to the museum. At least one trustee has met with Gov. Jack Markell to discuss a state takeover of the museum, Miller said. But Markell said budgetary constraints wouldn't allow state assistance.

Jeffrey Fuller, a Philadelphia-based art appraiser, said he encouraged the Delaware museum to sell lesser works that are kept in storage, rather than the most valuable pieces.

"I guess it's just an easy way out," he said.

The News Journal Article is found here 

Once the prized artwork of a museum is sold off to pay a debt what will attract visitors?  Once visitors stop coming how will a museum stay open?  Is the move to sell the artwork really to save the museum or hasten its closing? 

It seem a shame that a poorly planed and managed expansion in 2005 will now rob the people of Delaware of the beautiful artwork.  I guess we'll see what faith the community has in the current leadership and what value they place on the artwork and the museum itself.  GL

Buyers Find Tax Break on Art: Let It Hang Awhile in Oregon - posted by FFAB

Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” one of the most expensive works ever sold at auction, 
was lent to the Portland Art Museum. Credit Leah Nash for The New York Times

Buyers Find Tax Break on Art: Let It Hang Awhile in Oregon
Robin Pogrebin and Carol Vogel contributed reporting from New York. 

EUGENE, Ore. — The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, tucked into a quiet corner of a college campus here in the hills of the Pacific Northwest, is hardly the epicenter of the art world. Yet major collectors, fresh from buying a Warhol or a Basquiat or another masterpiece in New York, routinely choose this small, elegant redbrick building at the University of Oregon to first exhibit their latest trophy.

The museum’s intimacy and scholarship are likely to play some role in their choice. But a primary lure for the collectors is often something more prosaic: a tax break.

Collectors who buy art in one state but live in another can owe thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of dollars in state “use taxes”: taxes often incurred when someone ships an out-of-state purchase home. But if they lend the recently purchased work first to museums like the Schnitzer, located in a handful of tax-friendly states, the transaction is often tax-free.

Beyond the benefit to museums, this lucrative, little-known tax maneuver has produced a startling pipeline of art moving across the United States as collectors cleverly — and legally — exploit the tax codes.

Dozens of important works have come to the Schnitzer in recent years, largely because of the tax break, museum officials believe — so many that the museum has a program called “Masterworks on Loan”; the featured works are housed in a second-floor gallery.

Similar loans — which rarely extend beyond a few months — also flow into other museums in Oregon, and occasionally New Hampshire and Delaware, all states that have neither a sales nor a use tax.

This is the first I have heard of the "First Use" tax exemptions.  I have had the occasional request to ship an empty box to a summer home in another State to try and avoid sales tax, something I have never done.  My feeling has always been that cheating on taxes is cheating on society in the long run.  I guess I'm one of the few left that feels tax revenue is important for the States and our citizens shared quality of life. It also makes me wonder if all the talk of a flat national sales tax to replace our current tax code wouldn't be filled with these kind of creative sales tax exemptions for high ticket items. GL 

Friday, April 25, 2014

10 Free Color Palettes From 10 Famous Paintings - posted by FFAB

This is a fun Blog post from

I chose the Dali palette because of the earlier Dali post today but there are others worth a look including; Van Gogh's Starry Night, Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Munch's The Scream, Da Vinci’s Last Supper and many more.  Enjoy!  GL

10 Free Color Palettes From 10 Famous Paintings

Warhol exhibit extended at Dalí Museum - posted by FFAB

About the Exhibit
“Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality.” explores how Andy Warhol learned from Dali’s public visibility and was equally attuned to the images derived from mass culture. The exhibit considers Warhol’s seldom discussed engagement with other artists through his own painting, how he constructed an approach to the image in terms of celebrity and fame, and finally his treatment of painting and image as it pertains to human mortality.

“Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality.” showcases more than 100 works, including paintings, screen prints, photographs, and a selection of Warhol films and screen tests featuring the likes of Salvador Dali, of course, as well as other artists. Visitors will get the chance to experience “15 minutes of fame” when they star in their own screen-test video which will be emailed to them to save and share.
  • Admission: The Warhol exhibit is included in the price of admission.
  • Lectures: A free 20-minute, docent-led lecture will take place daily Mon-Fri & Sun at 2pm (Saturday lectures are at 12pm) in the Museum’s theater.
  • Tours: Private, docent-led guided tours of the Warhol exhibit are available. To inquire about rates or to schedule, contact
  • Educational Program Events: We have designed a host of unique and relevant programs for this exhibit covering a wide range of topics to engage the mind and reflect the human experience. For an active list of upcoming lectures, films and other special programs, please visit our Calendar of Events.
  • Shopping: Take a piece of Warhol home with you by visiting The Dali Museum store to stock up on exhibit-inspired t-shirts, posters, books, jewelry and more. Store Hours

Dali and Warhol

“Warhol and Dali lived in New York City at the same time. The photos of the two of them suggest a certain reticence. Perhaps they knew how much alike they were. Artistically they are of the same species – both radical. If Dali is radical in the way he delivered his subject of the changeable self through many media – painting, sculpture, film, and language – Warhol is radical in allowing media to provide his subject – faces from the tabloids and glossy magazines, products from the catalog of the American consumer. If Dali used popular media to present his vision of the dream world, Warhol used popular media as the subject of his art. Warhol was one of the American artists most marked by the legacy and model of Salvador Dali.”

- Dr. Hank Hine, Executive Director of The Dali

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Download 35,000 Works of Art from the National Gallery - posted by FFAB

Download 35,000 Works of Art from the National Gallery, Including Masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rembrandt & More
by via

As a young amateur painter and future art school dropout, I frequently found myself haunted by the faces of two artists, that famously odd couple from my favorite art history novelization—and Kirk Douglas role and Iggy Pop song—Lust for Life. Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, above and below respectively, the tormented Dutch fanatic and burly French bully—how, I still wonder, could such a pair have ever co-existed, however briefly? How could such beautifully skewed visions of life have existed at all?

Van Gogh and Gaugin’s several self-portraits still inspire wonder. My younger self had the luxury of seeing these particular two up close and in person at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC: Van Gogh’s gaunt and piercing visage, Gauguin’s sneering self-parody. Now, thanks to the wonders of digital technology, my older self, and yours, can view and download high-resolution photos of both paintings, and over 35,000 more from the museum’s vast holdings, through NGA Images, “a repository of digital images of the collections of the National Gallery of Art.”


There you’ll find works by another obsessive Dutch self-portraitist, Rembrandt van Rijn, such as the lush 1659 painting below. You’ll find paintings from the heroes of the various Renaissances and French Impressionism, from movements modern and colonial, pastoral and urban. The collection is dizzying, and a lover of art could easily lose hours sorting through it, saving “open access digital images up to 3000 pixels each […] available free of charge for download and use.” The purpose of NGA Images is “to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration,” and there’s no doubt that it satisfies all of those goals and then some. You can peruse the Gallery’s most requested images here.


Browse the various collections, including one devoted to self-portraits. Conduct advanced searches, if you’ve more knowledge of the Gallery’s many treasures. Use the “lightbox arranger” to sort, store, annotate, and save your own personalized collections for future viewing. You are the curator! And the lucky beneficiary of the National Gallery’s beneficence. While I can tell you from experience that it’s nothing like standing face to face with these paintings in their in-real-life dimensions, textures, lines, and colors—despite the throngs of disinterested tourists—it’s at least a close second. And for students and educators of the visual arts, NGA Images offers an opportunity like no other to view and share great works of art often hidden away from even the museum’s visitors. Enjoy!

Nationally, museums still reeling from building boom - posted by FFAB


Nationally, museums still reeling from building boom
Margie Fishman, The News Journal 

The Delaware Art Museum isn't the only cultural institution trying to rid itself of the financial problems resulting from an ambitious expansion.

From 1994 to 2008, America's art institutions experienced one of the largest construction booms in history, spending more than $16 billion on new and renovated performing arts centers, theaters and museums, according to a study by University of Chicago researchers.

Museum leaders assumed that the new facilities would boost attendance and donations. In the end, however, starry-eyed trustees and architects intent on making a name for themselves overestimated public demand and failed to account for increased maintenance costs, according to report co-author Carroll Joynes, a senior research fellow at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy.

The 2012 "Set in Stone" report included the Delaware Art Museum among more than 700 construction projects studied, ranging in cost from $4 million to $335 million. In 2005, the Wilmington museum nearly doubled its size in a $32.5 million project plagued by cost overruns and construction delays.

Many institutions also took a public relations hit.

"You make yourself look irresponsible," Joynes said.

How the organizations fared sometimes hinged on public bailouts.
Philadelphia's $265 million Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, for instance, was rescued from debt by local philanthropists and foundations. The American Folk Art Museum in New York, by contrast, had to sell its Midtown building to its neighbor, the Museum of Modern Art, after defaulting on $32 million in construction loans. MoMa now plans to partially demolish the building.

Find the full article here

This article was interesting to me. In Florida it seems that our professional sport teams and their stadiums get all the bad press for incompetent building practices, poor management and bloated budgets. Deservedly so.   

Our Museums seem to be enterprises that are well managed and operate under constrained budgets.  

Take the latest large-scale high-profile museum building projects; The Dali in St Petersburg and PAMM in Miami.  Both completed construction on time and on budget. They have also both far exceeded expectations with their positive impact to Florida's culture and economy.

Maybe our Sports Team Ownerships should take a meeting with our Museum Boards to  learn about successful private-public partnerships.  GL

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wealthy investors flock to fine art funds - posted by FFAB

Wealthy investors flock to fine art funds
CNN Money

Wealthy investors looking to diversify beyond stocks and bonds are now turning to an unusual money-making vehicle -- the art investment fund.

The name says it all: These funds invest in fine art and seek returns by acquiring and selling high-end pieces for profit.

Growth in art investing has helped smash records for international art sales, which hit $66 billion last year. And the idea has been catching on with the very rich -- a group that already uses collectors' items and luxury goods as investments -- in the years following the global financial crisis.

"People are looking at new areas to invest in, and at the moment art is one of those -- it's making people money," said Jon Reade, co-founder of Hong Kong-based art brokerage Art Futures Group.

As with stocks, fund managers might buy pieces they believe are currently undervalued, perhaps from emerging artists. Funds can also buy into "blue-chip" artists -- similar to blue-chip stocks, these are top artists whose coveted works may offer more reliable returns.

Some art investment funds focus on investing in art from a certain region, a particular style period, or a specific medium, such as photography.

Another strategy is to buy in bulk, from a gallery or artist nearing bankruptcy, or to arrange for pieces to be exhibited -- a move that can help increase value.

Fund managers try to predict when a certain work will peak in value -- the golden moment to sell for a profit. To accomplish this, managers track a variety of indicators from auction houses, curators and galleries that can illuminate otherwise murky trends.

These funds can carry a hefty price tag -- London's Fine Art Fund Group requires a minimum investment of $500,000 to $1 million per investor.

"It's a very significant threshold, so it's not a fund for widows, orphans or retail investors," said CEO Philip Hoffman. "It's purely for high net worth and institutional type investors."

Art funds are relatively new, and hold total assets of roughly $2 billion worldwide, according to the Art Fund Association, an industry group. That's still tiny compared to the $2.6 trillion hedge fund industry.

But related businesses are already springing up to support investing in art, such as freeports -- highly secure, tax-free places to stash fine art and other luxury items.

10,000 works of art fund pension

Future demand for art funds is expected to come from Asia, and especially China. Chinese demand boosted the global art fund market by 69% in 2012 alone, according to a Deloitte report.

Art investing is attractive to the Chinese due to limited investment options in the country. Plus, it promises big gains -- China's contemporary art market has gained roughly 15% each year in the last decade, while stocks have been largely flat, said New York University professor Jianping Mei, the developer of a fine art index.

Critics say a lack of regulation and the opaque nature of the market make art one of the riskiest investment options out there. Some have even accused wealth managers of exploiting the lack of transparency to bid up certain artists or works in order to raise the value of their funds.

And art is not as liquid an investment as assets such as stocks or bonds. Investors should expect to hold pieces for years, and be prepared to absorb insurance and storage costs during that time.

But supporters say these characteristics make art an extraordinary and rewarding investment.

"You get the benefit of a beautiful work of art you can enjoy on your wall," said Diana Wierbicki, who specializes in art law at Withers. "It's also an asset that is appreciating in value, because it's a market that's so strong." 

Original CNN article found here

Well I guess it was inevitable, with the art market beating both stocks and real estate for investment growth the past 20 years, that the large hedge funds would look to be more involved as investors.  I can't help but be filled with dread at that thought knowing how much the price of such commodities can be so easily manipulated. GL

Thomas Moran at Walmart? posted by FFAB

Trademark Fine Art "Florida, 1895" Canvas Wall Art by Thomas Moran

What is the world coming to?  I don't mean to come off as a snob but Thomas Moran at Walmart?  What do you think the artist would think that 120 years later one of his images would be selling for $62 at Walmart!

He would probably be thrilled and then he would probably ask what are those metal boxes moving on the roads and what are all the flying things in the sky.... GL

Trademark Fine Art "Florida, 1895" Canvas Wall Art by Thomas Moran
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Buy from Walmart
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Trademark Fine Art "The Coast Of Florida, 1882" Canvas Wall Art by Thomas Moran

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IMMEDIATE-ACTION REQUEST Florida Arts Funding in Jeopardy #advocacy #artfunding RT/MT via @FLCULALL - posted by FFAB

The TED Appropriations Conference Committee met for the first time this evening.  
The Senate made its first offer to reconcile the differences between the House and
                                        Senate.  Here is Senate Offer #1 as it
                                        relates to the Division of Cultural Affairs
                                        (DCA) grants-program budget line items
                                        (the pink highlighted column).    
The TED Appropriations Conference Committee will meet again tomorrow morning, Tuesday, April 22, at 8:30 a.m.

Take Action All This Week
Go here for action steps you can take
We will let you know what the House offer will be tomorrow regarding the DCA grants program budget line items.  
Thank you graphic Thank you for following through on the alerts. We'll keep you informed throughout this process as they reconcile the differences between the two budgets.

Could Silicon Valley Contemporary Be the Next Art Basel? via ArtSpace - posted by FFAB

 The new Silicon Valley Contemporary art fair at the San Jose Convention Center

Could Silicon Valley Contemporary Be the Next Art Basel?
By Andrew M. Goldstein via ArtSpace
April 12, 2014

The answer is yes and no. Let's begin with why Silicon Valley Contemporary could be a success.

The obvious allure for creating this new fair, and for the 50-some participating galleries to buy in for its first year, is that the tech sphere headquartered in Silicon Valley is generating more wealth more quickly than anywhere else in the world. The nouveau riche of Google, Apple, Facebook, Adobe, and the other industry titans in the area—what Valleywag's Sam Biddle has termed "our coddled new overclass"—have lent the San Jose area a few attention-grabbing distinctions: more patents are filed here per capita than anywhere else in the United States (the government opened a patent office in the city so developers wouldn't have to trek to D.C.), six of the 10 most expensive communities in the country to buy homes are here, and 75 percent of the region's Fortune 500 companies are within 15 miles of the San Jose Convention Center, where the fair took place. 

There are other factors at play. The convention center is enormous, sleek, and appealing, superior to the venues available in New York or Miami, and will in fact host the events surrounding the Super Bowl when it comes to neighboring Santa Clara in 2016. The weather is lovely and pacific. There are abundant hotels and restaurants but not a lot else going on culturally, making it perfectly suited to being a trade town. But above all, art dealers are ravenous to tap into this rising class of monied tech industrialists, knowing full well that they are the most significant contenders for being the patrons of tomorrow.

"I think this first fair will inspire people in the area and motivate them to catch the fever for contemporary art," said Rick Friedman, founding director of the fair and head of the Hamptons Expo Group. "We realize this is just the beginning and that we're getting in on the ground floor, so there has to be a learning curve. We're trying to put on an educational program here. But these people are very smart."

So, that is the thinking behind what one New York artist has termed "Nerd Basel." But the only problem is that "these people"—the much-vaunted tech gajillionaire hypothetically interested in collecting art—are a mysterious breed indeed, and dealers are uncertain how to approach them. There were multiple strategies in evidence at the fair.

Find the whole fascinating post here  

It has been my experience that the younger generation is much more dedicated to the visual arts and much more cultural savvy then say my generation.  I learned of their knowledge and interest when my gallery in Fort Lauderdale would fill up with college kids every spring break.   Remembering the spring break priorities of my generation and how visits to an art gallery were not even on the list it amazed me every year, how thoughtful they were.  

It has also been my experience working for a tech company that many do value the arts.  At the executive level the arts play an important roll the quality of life decisions that a company makes.

There sure is plenty of money in Silicon Valley.  With a population that is design and esthetically minded, a thriving arts scene with a large successful arts fair should be a no brainer.  GL

Monday, April 21, 2014

Famed Florida Highwayman Artist Robert Butler's Autobiography Released - posted by FFAB

Famed Florida Highwayman Artist Robert Butler's Autobiography Released
From Amazon: 
Timeless Echoes: the Life and Art of Robert Butler, a full color autobiography of 400 pages, features over 200 photos of Robert Butler art, as well as another 65 of art by each of his nine children, who became talented artists in their own right. 

Over 100 photos of Butler’s life round out this most fascinating book of historic proportion. Through talent, a fierce work ethic, and a winning personality, Butler moved from a turpentine still in Baxley, Georgia, to international fame as an artist, being named as one of the 26 original Florida Highwaymen. 

Butler’s journey led him around the world and into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. 

This book reveals the “heart behind the art” of Robert Butler. The one thing that rings clear throughout this book is that the hand of destiny was upon this man from very early childhood. As an African American artist struggling to survive midst the Civil Rights era of our country and facing myriads of conflicts, and even though Robert attempted to escape those conflicts, it was those very conflicts which served him well by honing his natural ability to paint and outfitting him with an eye to see the rapidly diminishing landscapes of a wild Florida. It pushed him to put those landscapes to canvas before they completely disappeared. 

Destiny had in mind to see to it that this artist would be the only artist attributed to having painted every ecosystem in wild Florida, something which will never be repeated in history, as many of these ecosystems no longer exist, having succumbed to “progress.” 

Butler paintings are distinctive in their dramatically lit, romanticized portrayals of his beloved wild Florida. His paintings are known to be finely detailed, while exuding an ethereal light in them, giving them an almost sacred quality, the music of his heart. 

He managed in his autobiography, just as he did in his art, to strike a balance in celebrating wild Florida, while at the same time grieving at her passing. In reading this book, one cannot help but grow their love and admiration for the swamps, palmetto flats, hardwood forests, rivers, lakes, pine flats, and wildlife of wild Florida. The reader will come to understand not only the art of Robert Butler, but also the very heart of Robert Butler and his love for wild Florida. 

As one reviewer of the book said, “This book is one of the best, recently written books on personal development.” Another reviewer stated, “Butler’s story will indicate that he . . . found (his life’s) purpose and defined it. Along the way, he discovered universal laws that he used to give generously back to the world. And you thought this book was about art!” 

Just as he realized his dream of seeing his life story in print, Robert Butler laid down his paintbrush for the last time and departed this life on March 19, 2014. However, Florida, as well as the whole world, will forever know that "the Butler was here."

Timeless Echoes: The Life and Art of Robert Butler by Robert Butler et al.
Timeless Echoes: The Life and Art of Robert Butler
by Robert Butler et al.
I just ordered one of the books for myself and am looking forward to learning more about the man I knew.  I am also interested in the family section and hearing the point of view from each of his children.  Robert Butler had many clients in Fort Lauderdale and I sold many of his paintings both for the first time and in the resell market.  I can think of no other Florida artist as competent at depicting the Florida hunting camps and all the wild animals and actives that surround the hunt.  Many a home in South Florida have the artists work hanging on the walls, some personal commissions, for which Robert was a master at . I had only met Mr. Butler on a few occasions but have gotten to know one of his children Robert Butler Jr fairly well.  Robert Jr is a very talented artist in his own right and a good man, I miss his visits to my gallery.   GL

Big Data and the Holy Grail of Museum Metrics - via Center for the Future of Museums - posted by FFAB

Big Data and the Holy Grail of Museum Metrics
Center for the Future of Museums

One of the themes covered in CFM’s TrendsWatch 2014 report is the power of big data and data analytics. The ubiquity of internet-connected sensing devices and our relentless use of social media and online commerce generates 2.8 zettabytes (a zettabyte = 2 to the 70th power) every year. This flood of information is being fed into predictive algorithms that yield results that look nearly magical: forecasting spikes in unemployment, global conflict, disease outbreaks, even local crime. As people are quickly discovering, big data analytics, like any tool, can be misused, but when applied to appropriate problems with sound methodologies, they can transform whole sectors.

Can big data transform museums? Data mining can certainly be useful to individual museums--I’m chairing a session on that topic on Monday, May 19, 1:45 pm at the upcoming Alliance conference in May. Data on a museum’s visitors linked to US Census data via zip code can generate reams of illuminating demographic information. Tracking patrons’ use of museum space and amenities can suggest efficiencies of staffing and services. But I’m even more interested in the potential payoff of big data for the museum field as a whole.

As we’ve explored in TrendsWatch 2013 and on this Blog, we live in a society increasingly focused on concrete measurements of outcomes. This poses the risk that museums, in order to comply with these expectations, may focus on doing small, measurable good, while losing sight of the big, ambitious hard-to-measure good that lies at the heart of our missions. How do you measure the improvement art makes in someone’s life? What metric captures the value of an understanding of history? Largely, in the past, we couldn’t measure things like this, and didn’t try. Even in fields like medicine it is rare to find the kinds of large scale, long-term longitudinal research projects that can tease out small and subtle effects of lifestyle and behavior. Museums have never had the cultural equivalent of the Framingham Heart Study or the Nurses’ Health Study, following thousands of individuals over the course of decades, generating the masses of granular data needed to support such analysis. Instead researchers try to get at these questions in bits and pieces (measuring the effect of field trips, or the personal value of museum engagement), but the results are generally limited and hard to generalize.

Now there is an alternative to traditional longitudinal studies like Framingham. The combination of the Internet of Things (which tracks and measures so much of what we do), the Quantified Self movement (mainstreaming individual collection and analysis of minute details of everyday life), and Big Data Analytics could give us the ability to assess the impact of museum engagement on health, happiness, educational attainment, well-being and other measures of success.

Find the whole blog post here

Big Data Analytics are all the rage these days.  Company's are beginning to understand their customers usage patterns in ways never thought possible before.  I agree with the blog author that data analytics will be very affective to drive participation and retention of a museum's audience.   What are the wants and needs of a museums audience?  How to they use the museum? And how is the museum perceived? With this knowledge a museum can become a better steward to its community. GL

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Parrish Florida plans to become a Cultural Tourist Destination - posted by FFAB

Parrish Arts Council members are working on a revitalization plan for the historic village of Parrish. Shown above are, left, John Phillips, Iris McClain, Jerri Phillips, Cookie Jordan, Marie Snyder, Norma Kennedy, Pearl McCraw, and Ben Jordan. JAMES A. JONES JR./Bradenton Herald

Read more here:
Parrish Arts Council imagines village as tourist destination

PARRISH -- They're dreaming big in the historic village of Parrish.
Envisioned is a walkable community, where residents and visitors could stroll to ice cream shops and restaurants, check out rural Florida architecture from the early 1900s, or buy a ticket to see Thomas the Tank Engine or other special event at the Florida Railroad Museum.

Also included in those plans is Fort Hamer, where more than 100 years ago, Parrish farmers hauled their crops in wagons and loaded them onto boats to be shipped to market.

Members of the Parrish Arts Council have been meeting around dining room tables, refining their vision for recapturing some of the essence of a vibrant village that flourished between 1870 and the first half of the 20th Century.
Almost lost to memory is a time when the school house was the center of community hopes and dreams, and where there were multiple groceries, general stores and packing houses.

"We want to rewire the village of Parrish as a destination," said council president Norma Kennedy.

Read more here

To revitalize the old neglected downtown the Parrish Arts Council will try and lure visitors with concerts and art.  Another great example of how culture can be a key to a thriving local economy.  GL

Incredible Van Gogh Paintings Tilt Shifted - posted by FFAB

16 Incredible Van Gogh Paintings Tilt Shifted
From the PhotoGuides Blog
By Ash Davies
Tilt Shift is an incredible lens effect that transforms normal scenes into tiny toy worlds. It’s a topic that’s already been shown extensively here on PhotoGuides with tilt shift collections and photoshop tutorials, but these new examples take on a new level of amazingness.

ArtCyclopedia has created an astonishing range of Tilt Shift photographs which apply the effect to some of Van Gogh’s famous paintings. The results really are stunning. Check them out.

All images were created for in Photoshop by Serena Malyon, a 3rd-year student at art school. In most cases original art images were obtained from Wikimedia Commons or from The Athenaeum image archive.

For more information and artworks, see the page for Vincent van Gogh.

For more on tilt-shift photography, see:
      • Smashing Magazine: 50 Beautiful Examples Of Tilt-Shift Photography

Many more pictures if you follow the links above.  Enjoy, GL

Broward Center for the Performing Arts' opening celebration - posted by FFAB

The new Huizenga Pavilion at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. (Carline Jean, Sun Sentinel)

'Have some fun…' With Sheryl Crow at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts' opening celebration

On April 12, the grand opening celebration of the Huizenga Pavilion at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts will feature a live performance by singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow. Marking a major milestone in the center's ENCORE! capital expansion project, "Opening Night" will be an evening of entertainment and festivities underwritten by Linda and Douglas Von Allmen.

The celebration will begin with a cocktail reception in the Peck Courtyard at 7 p.m., followed by a private performance by Grammy Award-winning Crow in the Amaturo Theater at 8:30 p.m. The evening will culminate with a post-show extravaganza at the Huizenga Pavilion and Wendt Terraces at 10 p.m.

"To us, the Pavilion is more than a building," said Marti Huizenga, who serves as co-chairwoman of the ENCORE! capital campaign, joined by Rose Miniaci, Charles L. Palmer, Bernard J. Peck and Ramón Rodríguez. Huizenga added, "It offers an opportunity to celebrate the arts in Broward County and connect the beauty of the New River and the rich cultural traditions in our community. We are particularly pleased that this opening celebration will support the center's education and enrichment program, one of the largest and most successful in the nation. This event ultimately will introduce even more children to the wonders of the arts."

The naming of the Huizenga Pavilion was a result of the Huizengas' gift to the campaign and recognizes their ongoing support of the Broward Center.

"We're pleased to help showcase the new Huizenga Pavilion to our community for the first time," said Linda Von Allmen. "We proudly support the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the centerpiece of arts and entertainment in this area, and are excited to be a part of the center's ENCORE! expansion project."

Located along the New River, the Huizenga Pavilion offers stunning waterfront views from indoor and outdoor settings. The two-story structure, with floor-to-ceiling windows, will offer casual fun at the New River Bistro on the first floor and 3,500 square feet of event space in the Porter Riverview Ballroom on the second floor.

Read the Sun Sentinel article here 
Broward Center for the Performing Arts Website

I couldn't find any news articles after the event on the 12th. I did however speak to some that attended and can report that the evening was a big success!  

The Broward Center was a major catalyst in revitalizing the whole downtown of Fort Lauderdale. It shows how important it has become to the community that 25 years later when the Center itself needs revitalizing so much support is shown by way of the successful $56 million capital fundraising campaign.  

Now with the addition of the muti-use 15,000 sq ft Huizenga Pavilion, the 25,000 square feet of high-tech instruction space in the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center and the total upgrade of technology, lights and sound to the two theaters the Broward Center will continue to significantly impact the Culture in Broward County for at least another 25 years!  Bravo to all those involved!  GL