What We're Reading: 11/26/21

William Swislow, left, and Aron Packer have a new book, "Lakefront Anonymous" about overlooked art along the shoreline; they're at Foster Beach in Chicago on Nov. 9, 2021. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

Aron Packer and William Swislow's ‘Lakefront Anonymous’ is the latest appreciation of amateur art that lines Chicago’s lakefront

In his new book, William Swislow writes, “Hidden in plain sight on Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline is one of the world’s great public art treasures.”

He is not referring to the Navy Pier Ferris wheel, which does offer, I guess, some modest pleasures, but rather to a new book, compiled with his friend Aron Packer, the former gallery owner and artist who currently represents artists and holds events.

Via Chicago Tribune


Art Institute employees say management trying to block their unionization efforts

Employees of the Art Institute of Chicago say museum management is trying to hinder their attempt to collectively bargain — and they are demanding officials step aside and allow unionization efforts to proceed without interference.

Staff from the institute’s museum and school filed paperwork earlier this month to hold a federally run election that will decide if they can form a union. But management has intimidated workers and held meetings to obstruct unionization, workers charged at a rally Monday on the institute’s famous front steps on Michigan Avenue.

Via Chicago Sun Times


The Art Angle Podcast Re-Air: How High-Tech Van Gogh Became the Biggest Art Phenomenon Ever

Even if you aren’t spending the weekend visiting one of the many immersive Van Gogh experiences that have popped up across the country and around the globe, chances are someone at your Thanksgiving table has already been. As of mid-September, Lighthouse Immersive, the company behind just one of these touring Van Gogh shows, had sold 3.2 million tickets… that’s 700,000 more than the number of tickets sold for Taylor Swift’s 2018 Reputation tour.

Via Artnet


How China's museums are cosying up to commercial galleries for big-ticket exhibitions

As new museums have proliferated in China over the past decade, they have spent lavishly on impressive architecture and, sometimes, blue-chip art acquisitions. But many have scrimped on staffing, leaving a gap in curatorial expertise that commercial galleries are eager to fill. Top international galleries, which have launched operations in Hong Kong and increasingly the mainland over the same period, have imported Western models of sponsorship for museum exhibitions of their artists but the traditional boundaries between museums’ curatorial control and the market’s commercial interests are far more blurred in China.

Via The Art Newspaper


PBS’s ‘Secrets of the Dead’ Recounts the Thrilling Recovery of Malta’s Stolen Caravaggio

How do you recover a stolen masterpiece? As most experts will tell you, it’s not as easy as you might think. In fact, scores of stolen works over the years have never even been recovered. That’s the case with famous heists—for example, the 13 masterpieces from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990—as well as lesser-known ones. But there are fortunate cases where the works were indeed found, and one involves a Caravaggio and Father Marius Zarafa, a Maltese priest and art historian.

Via ARTnews