The Arts Before and After The Economic Crisis

by Art Fag City on August 10, 2009 · 3 comments Events


Andres Serrano, Self Portrait, 2008

  • Undoubtedly the most thoroughly researched piece I’ve read on the museum bubble yet, Ben Davis breaks down the issues on Artnet: directors and higher-ups make a staggering amount of money, institutions gambled with endowment funds by investing 80% or more in hedge funds, and many overspent on new buildings erroneously believing city revitalization would inevitably result.  Davis also points out those who suffer the most are those with the fewest resources.  They simply can’t attract the same level of donor support or press coverage as brand name institutions do.
    By the end of the piece, Davis observes arts funding cuts as part of  a larger attack on the poor:

    Down in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal's recent budget contained a massive cut for cultural subsidies. Protests by the arts community won back $2.3 million to preserve historic sites at the last minute, and a few other scraps. But the same budget also reduced funding for food banks from $5 million to $500,000, a criminal assault on the state's neediest citizens.

  • This observation seems particularly timely given Barbara Ehrenreichi’s three-page article in The New York Times detailing the country’s attacks on the poor.  (Link tip: c-monster)
  • Meanwhile, Edward Winkleman discusses the latest right-wing attacks on the NEA.  Apparently Fox News and Wall Street Journal pundits claim the money sent to San Francisco will be used to support porn.  Media Matters points out that most of this money was screened and allocated during Bush’s term, though this seems like a good subject for the White House Blog to address.
  • http://www.justinmata.com justin

    Davis touched on the fact that it is the regular employees (as opposed to the executive officers and board members) who really take the financial hits when these institutions are in tough times. This adds extra suckiness to the fact that artists are the ones holding these posts for the most part. So the art won’t sell and we lose our day jobs.

  • http://www.justinmata.com justin

    Davis touched on the fact that it is the regular employees (as opposed to the executive officers and board members) who really take the financial hits when these institutions are in tough times. This adds extra suckiness to the fact that artists are the ones holding these posts for the most part. So the art won’t sell and we lose our day jobs.

  • http://www.justinmata.com justin

    Davis touched on the fact that it is the regular employees (as opposed to the executive officers and board members) who really take the financial hits when these institutions are in tough times. This adds extra suckiness to the fact that artists are the ones holding these posts for the most part. So the art won’t sell and we lose our day jobs.

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