News From the Art World: January 26, 2021

MCA Chicago makes first layoffs of the pandemic

In its first staffing cuts of the pandemic, the Museum of Contemporary Art this week laid off 11% of its staff, including 17 of 162 full-time personnel, officials with the organization said.

Also cut were 24 out of 49 regular part-time workers, including guides for school groups. 80% of them worked 4 hours per week or fewer, the museum said.

By Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune

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U2 got a private tour of the new Takashi Murakami exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art from curator Naomi Beckwith. (MCA)

Top two MCA curators departing for Guggenheim, museum startup

Michael Darling, chief curator and the force behind the three most popular shows in the museum’s history, is joining as a co-founder the startup Museum Exchange, which aims to match art collectors with museums that covet their donations.

Naomi Beckwith, a Chicago native and the museum’s senior curator, has taken a new post beginning in June as chief curator and deputy director at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum.

By Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune

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Do Museums Need a Shopping Network for Art Donations?

A new venture suggests it will help art institutions find works of art that collectors have decided they want to give away as gifts.

By Graham Bowley, The New York Times

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An outdoor ‘museum in the prairie,’ GSU’s sculpture park sees ‘an incredible amount of people’ visit amid pandemic

People have flocked to forest preserves for the fresh air and exercise. Drive-in movie theaters have made an epic comeback. And places like the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, on the grounds of Governors State University in University Park, have become more popular than ever, according to Jeff Stevenson, director and curator of the “museum in the prairie” known as The Nate.

Bill Jones, Daily Southtown

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