John Swinney, difficult choices and the art of budget politics

The carrot: 'de-emphasised'. Picture: Kyn TharynHidden away in the detail of yesterday’s budget was a small but very significant change in the Scottish Government’s approach to councils. In fact, it may be so important it determines both the election campaign and, possibly, the eventual winner of next May’s poll. Gone was the friendly, hands-off attitude John Swinney adopted when he first came to power three and a half years ago. Instead, the Finance Secretary Read more [...]
Posted in Art

Money Woes Threaten Museum

By JUSTIN SCHECK Brian Frank for The Wall Street Journal San Francisco's Museum of Asian Art is facing a severe financial crisis as a result of the weak economy and rising loan payments. SAN FRANCISCO—The Asian Art Museum here is facing a financial crisis, the latest—and one of the largest—in a string of museums to suffer from problems amid the weak economy. Officials of the Asian Art Museum, which showcases more than 17,000 artworks from Asia and has an annual Read more [...]

Monster Mash: Robert De Niro establishes new art prize, Broadway’s ‘Book of …

Star power: Robert De Niro has established a $25,000 annual prize for a U.S. painter in honor of his late artist father. (Bloomberg) Clean-cut: Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells have joined the cast of Broadway's "Book of Mormon," opening March 24. (Playbill) Major acquisition: The Philadelphia Museum of Art is acquiring a trove of photographs by Paul Strand. (Philadelphia Inquirer) Dissident voice: Chinese artist Wu Yuren is on trial in Beijing after a protest that he led against property Read more [...]

Jay-Z: We have to view rap as a serious art form

The greatest music, renowned hip-hop artist Jay-Z told Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" Wednesday, has the ability to connect with all kinds of people, regardless of background. “After we take the labels – black, white, male, female – after we take off the labels, we basically want the same thing, we love the same things,� Jay-Z explained. “The commonality of those emotions: angst, fear, aspiration… [A]t the core of great music is some of those emotions [and] Read more [...]

De Niro honours father with art prize

Posted November 19, 2010 10:25:00 Actor Robert De Niro will fund the prize for painting. (Getty Images: Sean Gallup/DTFF, file photo) Robert De Niro says his late father's estate has established a new $US25,000 annual award, the Robert De Niro Sr Prize, which will honour American artists for achievement in painting. The prize will be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. De Niro made the announcement in his role as Tribeca Film Institute co-chair. He was joined by Megan Read more [...]

Asian Art in Juxtaposition

Some pairings are straightforward, others oblique. The youngest artist, Qiu Ting, born in 1971, chose a misty Northern Song landscape from the museum’s great Chinese holdings and made his own version of it. Two artists, Li Huayi and Zeng Xiaojun, went for masterpiece gold in the form of Cheng Rong’s renowned “Nine Dragons” and came back with landscapes, but in unorthodox formats: Mr. Li’s stretches over several large sheets of paper; Mr. Zeng’s is framed as a free-standing screen. Read more [...]

Two bailed over Harry Potter book

18 November 2010 Last updated at 10:56 ET The Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone book was in a display box Two people arrested in connection with the theft of a limited first edition Harry Potter book from an Oxfordshire art gallery have been bailed. The rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, worth almost £6,000, was taken from the Creative Art Gallery in Read more [...]

Federal building could become artist-style lofts

The Federal Building in downtown Wausau WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Plans to convert Wausau’s Federal Building into 21 artist-style lofts have won preliminary support from a city subcommittee. The full Historic Preservation committee will decide at 4 p.m. whether to go along with the recommendation to award the project to St. Paul, Minnesota-based MetroPlains. The committee could also choose from two other proposals. The full City Council Read more [...]

Miracle on Fifth! Madoff Victim’s Prized PH Sells at $4 M. Discount to Dutch …

Dorris Carr Bonfigli is the perfect Manhattan socialite: beautiful, charming and terribly unlucky. One of Bernie Madoff's victims, Ms. Bonfigli listed her prized Fifth Avenue penthouse just before Christmas 2008 for $11.3 million. After months on the market and a half-dozen price cuts, the place at 930 Fifth Avenue has finally sold for $7.5 million.  Hosting parties for the city's artistic elite in her 19th-floor abode with a terrace overlooking Central Park, a baby grand tinkling away in Read more [...]