Robin Hood the Art World [Edited – Museum Name Removed]

Working on this…

Wealth is in all the wrong places in the art world. Let’s give it back to artists, museum workers, art handlers (these all overlap like crazy), and the good guys/gals in general.

Mission: Save the art world from greed. Save the museum world from greed. Redistribute wealth to those who have earned it.

Method: Start with crowd-sourced donations that will go to museums. (I’m doing this now and have raised $700 since Saturday.) This will empower them to be able to say NO to corporate interests, foundations who want to pander to minority children in a belittling way that doesn’t really serve their interests, wealthy donors who want to show their art in museums. (See [unnamed trustee]’s upcoming show at [unnamed major art museum] for an example, unless he’s planning on giving it all to the museum which would make it totally kosher.) This would otherwise be the New Museum fiasco or Sensation or the BMW motorcycle show at Guggs all over again.

Artists don’t make anything after selling works. They should. Let’s register art works like guns and track them and their sales. Maybe ARS can help in ensure that artists get some $$$ for resales of their pieces. Why should Charles Saatchii or Dakkis Jannou be able to buy up a bunch of an artists’ work, make them famous, and resell it for a huge profit without the artist seeing a penny. Let’s change that. Now.

2 responses to “Robin Hood the Art World [Edited – Museum Name Removed]

  1. Museumnerd, I completely agree with the spirit of what you say (as ever), so please take this in the friendliest way possible, but I’m not sure this is particularly coherent.

    Focusing on the crowd-sourcing donations element – it’s a lovely idea but there would be enormous holes to fill in the coffers of almost any museum if you want them to walk away from major gifts, grants and corporate sponsorship. The Met alone (seeing as you mentioned it) received $29.5m in “gifts and grants” in 2012 so for the sake of argument you’d be talking about every single person in NYC giving $3-4 a year each to keep just one major museum operating at its current level. If you want to increase the money going to people who, I agree, are clearly underpaid then you presumably want operating costs to rise.

    Sure, plenty visit the Met from outside NYC, but they all have local museums that would need crowd-sourced donations too. Plus visitors are already contributing to the $64.8m taken on the door or in membership and the $98m in merchandising. Those are tried-and-tested crowd-sourcing methods which the public know and love and think of as part of their charitable support for institutions.

    I agree 100% that those giving large sums have a completely disproportionate and unreasonable amount of sway in the way museums are run, but turning down donations wholesale is not necessarily the way to address this. Increased funding from public sources is one, better governance, transparency and accountability re. large donations is another.

  2. I’m certainly not talking about not taking money from wealthy individuals. I just think they should expect nothing in return. Donations should be selfless.

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