Welcome back to NewsFile, your weekly resource for contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramic happenings and news. This week we bring to you staggering numbers in museum attendance, the Galerie De Witte Voet’s final exhibition, Cfile’s scoop on job postings and more. But first, we’ll depress you with some not-so-surprising, yet still disappointing, statistics about how white (and male-dominated) the art world continues to be.
Study: Less Than 25-percent of All Artists POC in NYC’s Top Galleries
What the students found was that in the 2016–17 season, 80.5% of all artists at the top 45 New York galleries were white, though if the statistics are parsed to focus only on US artists, then the percentage climbs to 88.1%. In a country that’s 64% white, that’s a drastic difference.
Other shocking statistics include the lack of Native American artists and the huge disparity between the Hispanic population in the US and artists in New York galleries (16% in general population vs. 1.2% in top New York galleries).
The statistics of all artists by gender (the study does not consider how artists choose to identify) are also disappointing, with the statistics for American artists being only teensy-bit better. Of all artists in the study, 70-percent were male and 30-percent were female, while of all American artists 68-percent were male and 32-percent were female (disappointed ‘dad’ sigh).
The study also surveyed artists’ level of education.
The ‘Arts in NYC’ course taught by James Case-Lea built a database of 1,300 artists represented at the top 45 commercial galleries in New York. Each artists was researched noting their age, race, nationality, gender and education. The researchers warn the data was compiled based on indicators used by publications (artist’s writing, gallery statements and press), and when absent, race and gender were based of the researchers’ perceptions.
While the data is not entirely formal, it still paints a broad (and grim) picture of the art world’s continued struggle of diversity.
I recommend taking a look through this interesting read by former White House appointment to National Council on the Arts and UC, Irving professor of anthropology Robert Garfias. It’s an oldie, but the points argued remain relevant.
I do not wish to imply that there has been evil work afoot. Our efforts in regards to the wider dissemination of the arts and in recognizing the diversity of cultures which is our country have been genuine. All the more reason why our failure to achieve our goal continues to be so frustrating.
Read the report in its entirety.
British Museums See 1.4m Drop in Visitors
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, British museums, including art museums, are seeing a staggering decline in the number of visitors, The Guardian writes.
A report by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport found that 47.6 million people visited the institutions it sponsors, such as Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, between April 2015 and April 2016.
This was down from a figure of 49 million who visited the same museums in the previous 12-month period.
Tate galleries, which includes Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, saw the greatest fall, at roughly 2 million.
The Museums Association places the blame on security fears, a lack of blockbuster exhibitions and fewer educational trips, a spokesperson told The Guardian.
“These figures are clearly disappointing. As schools come under greater pressure, they are finding it harder to devote time to out-of-class activities such as museum visits. Children are increasingly missing out on valuable experiences that bring history, science and culture to life and expose them to new ideas.
“Last week, the government welcomed the Imagine Nation report that demonstrated the value of cultural learning, but these figures show that they need to do more to help schools and museums work together.”
Additionally, the UK’s museums are not the only ones to be hit with falling visitor numbers. The Louvre recently reported a 2m decline from 2014 to 2016.
We highlighted an interesting trend in the US with museum institutions presenting more exhibitions than they used to, paying off in the long run.
London, DC Share Museums Capital of the World Distinction
In better news and interestingly so, the two cities topping the charts in most visited museums in 2016 are both London and Washington, DC, The Guardian writes.
[The report] listed the 20 most visited museums [in each region] around the globe from 2016 and found four of London’s attractions made the cut – tying the city in first place with Washington DC which also bagged four spots on the table.
- 6th Place – The British Museum (6,420,000 visitors)
- 8th Place – National Gallery (6,263,000)
- 10th Place – Tate Modern (5,839,000)
- 13th Place – Natural History Museum (4,624,000)
Washington D.C.’s mostly-free institutions topped the list of North America’s museum standings:
- 1st Place – National Air and Space Museum (7,500,000)
- 2nd Place – National Museum of Natural History (7,400,000)
- 5th Place – National Gallery of Art (4,261,000)
- 6th Place – National Museum of American History (3,800,000)
Even so, the topping the list of single-most-visited museum, in 1st Place, is the National Museum of China in Beijing, which attracted 7,550,000 visitors in 2016. The Louvre brought in 7,400,000 visitors. The Metropolitan Museum of Art brought in 6,700,000.
We recommend reading the whole report, which clarifies the standings. The report does not include a top 20 list of all museums world-wide. We will try to compile such a report ourselves using this data. Stay Tuned.
Galerie De Witte Voet’s Final Exhibition
Opening its doors for the last time, Galerie De Witte Voet in Amsterdam presents its final exhibition 4 British Artists (June 3 – June 24, 2017). Gallery Director Annemie Bolssevain has run the Galerie De Witte Voet nearly single-handedly for 42 years focusing on promoting artists working with clay creating a special vision for sculptural ceramics and selecting her artists with a discerning eye.
The exhibition features works from four artists who all use the medium of clay in very different ways and from varied perspectives: Martin Smith, Rod Bugg
Martin Smith, who is known for his distinctive black eathenware, has been with the gallery since 1979 shortly after he graduated from the Royal College of Art. The work shown in the exhibition is concerned with his ceramic quilt-like hanging plate groupings, monumental vases and his cup.
Sculptor Rod Bugg, whose work demonstrates a continuity of drawing and making using minimal means to yield art that is material, tactile and fundamental.
Ken Eastman, who had his first exhibition at the gallery in 1992. Eastman’s works aims to stretch clay to its limits forgoing function to experiment with shape and color.
Clare Twomey, whose works generally exists in ephemera, presents a horizon of ceramic plates made at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Cfile Scoop: Jobs! Gardiner Museum + Stedelijk Museum
Gardiner Museum: Chief Curator
We are seeking an exceptional person to join the senior management of the Museum as our next Chief Curator. He or she should be passionate about ceramics, and have a particular interest in modern or contemporary work, though also with sensitivity to our historic collections. We are looking for a visionary, who will shape the future of our contemporary collections, lead both the Curatorial and the Education and Programs departments and work closely with the Board and the Curatorial Committee, the Executive Director & CEO, other colleagues and with the public. The Chief Curator needs to be a gifted leader, a compelling communicator, both in the spoken word and in writing, an outstanding researcher willing to learn about our collections and enrich them, an ardent advocate for the Museum, and an able administrator.
Candidates should have a Ph.D. in a related subject or relevant equivalent experience and publications. A minimum of eight years of progressive experience as a curator, scholar or artist; a distinguished body of publications and exhibitions or/and gallery development, experience working with donors, collectors, Board members, volunteers and members of the public, and strong administrative skills are all requirements.
The Chief Curator plays a key role in the aspirations of the Gardiner Museum as a steward of our important collections, enhancing our profile in Canada and internationally through acquisitions, scholarship, gallery development, exhibitions and public engagement. As the leader of both the Curatorial and the Education and Programs department, the Chief Curator is a passionate advocate for ceramics, to provoke and engage a diverse public and ensure the Museum’s next generation of support. The vision, dynamism and leadership of the Chief Curator is essential to these aspirations and to the future of the Museum.
Sounds like the job for you? Learn how to apply.
Stedelijk Museum: Chief Curator
The museum’s Chief Curator position has been left vacant since 2014, when then-curator Marjan Boot retired. We’ve heard through the grapevine the museum will be considering applications in the near future from interested parties.
The museum is looking for applicants who have a strong interest in the evolving world of ceramic art, contemporary ceramic and textiles, and the re-evaluation of these fields. The museums seeks to enter a “post media” era where the lines of defined medium are blurred.
It’s not quite up yet (sorry), but check back here frequently for the position posting.
Do you love or loathe these newsy tidbits from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.