Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold Lehman has announced a series of measures planned to insure the museum’s vitality in the wake of the financial crisis, which has reduced the company’s endowment by 35%. All staff will be required to take a one-week furlough this summer, and more highly-paid, non-union staff will be asked to take pay cuts. All staff will be offerend voluntary separation packages in hopes of avoiding layoffs. In addition to recently-raised admission fees (from $8 to $10 for adults, and $6 to $8 for seniors and students), one of three special exhibition galleries will be closed, and a major exhbition scheduled for fall will be canceled.
In reponse to the impact of economic trends, Christie’s has created a department devoted exclusively to corporate collections. Longtime Christie’s executive Cathy Elkies will spearhead efforts in the United States, while Ben Clark will head the European division. The auction house claims to be in talks with around twelve clients, though no names have been released yet. In other auction-related news, the sale of Michael Jackson’s personal effects, set to open for public viewing on Tuesday, was canceled at the last minute as a result of a lawsuit filed by Jackson, who sought to keep some of the 1,400 lots from going to auction. The items will remain on view in Beveraly Hills until April 25th — the sale was scheduled for April 22-25 — after which they’ll be returned to Jackson.
Shepard Fairey appeared in a Boston courtroom this week, where 7 of 17 pending vandalism charges were dropped; Fairey still faces an additional 10 charges. Fairey also struck back at the Associated Press, who has leveled copyright infringment charges against him for using an AP photograph as source material for the now-iconic “Hope” posters he designed for Barack Obama’s presendential campaign. Fairey claims that the AP makes commerical use of his and other artists’ works without their permission.