After the fake Basquiat affair, the Orlando art museum drinks the cup

Nothing is going right at the Orlando Museum of Art. While investigations are still underway to authenticate the so-called “false Basquiat”, the future of the museum is tarnished by the seizure of 25 paintings attributed to the master of contemporary primitivism. In the wake of the FBI’s intervention, the museum director was fired, accused of ignoring scientific and historical doubts about the paintings’ authorship. Since then, its former museum has been going through a bad patch. the New York Times starts from an obvious observation: the next three exhibitions have been cancelled. All were programmed under the mandate ofAaron de Groft.

Since the seizure of the “false Basquiat”, the next exhibition, devoted to Jackson Pollock, was suspended. It was planned to be centered around a specific work by the artist. However, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation has stopped authenticating the works attributed to Pollock since 1996, the New York Times. Despite this lack of expertise and the doubts of the current owner of the work, Aaron de Groft has always maintained that the canvas was indeed signed by the American painter. He was also preparing to hold a conference entitled Jackson Pollock’s Best “Lost” Painting: Comstock Pollock, 1950.

In the wake of the Pollock exhibition, the future hanging of drawings attributed to Michelangelo had “raised internal concerns about their proper attribution », according to several museum employees quoted by the newspaper. The third canceled exhibition should have been dedicated to Banksy, against the will of the street artist, who had warned on his website that it “could be shit”. The cancellation may make one happy…

Internally, whose fault is it?

There is already no trace left of the Basquiat exhibition, either online or in the catalogue. “The stacks of museum-branded Basquiat merchandise were all moved from the gift shop to the museum’s basement, according to several employees aware of the move,” reveals the New York Times. Internally, the mandate of the president of the board of directors of the museum is counted, weakened by calls for resignation. “It didn’t start or end with Aaron De Groft […] It was the responsibility of a board of directors which exercises oversight, which has fiduciary responsibility for this museum, ”estimates Ena Heller, the director of the Rollins Museum of Art, interviewed by the newspaper. His museum benefits, somewhat in spite of itself, from the controversy surrounding the Orlando museum: “Half a dozen prominent OMA donors are in talks to transfer their financial support to the Rollins Museum of Art. »

In Orlando, the museum is the laughingstock of urban artists, and the worst nightmare of art experts. So much so that it could be deprived of precious patrons and donors: the Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation has confirmed to the New York Time that she plans to transfer the collection of paintings, which she has lent to Orlando for nearly thirty years, to the Rollins Museum.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.