Art Scoping

Art Scoping

Art Scoping features protagonists in the fields of art, architecture, design, publishing, art law, public policy, and culture generally. We ask how arts leaders cope with change, what keeps them up at night, and what gets them out of bed.


July 3, 2022 8 mins

We are bracing ourselves, this Independence Day, for the next assault on our lives and freedoms by a craven Republican Party and a Supreme Court dominated by intolerant ideologues. I didn’t find solace when reading the Declaration of Independence aloud in this episode, as my late father Quentin did year after year on the 4th. Instead I found haunting predictions of attempted tyranny in our age by Trump and his obsequious followers,...

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It's been a while since the last episode of Art Scoping--it will hereafter follow no set schedule, but episodes will pop up here and there.

This episode is a recorded tribute to my late grandfather Maxwell Anderson--playwright, lyricist, author, and journalist. I delivered it on March 24, 2022 at an event on the campus of the University of North Dakota, marking the unveiling of the first literary landmark in the state...

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A short episode in which you’ll hear about the basics of a new endeavor announced by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados. Called the ROAD Project (Reclaiming our Atlantic Destiny), it includes a massive digitization project, the creation of a memorial to enslaved people by Adjaye Associates, and the planning for a new heritage district to incorporate a museum and archives, performing arts venues, and associated amenities. S...

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December 5, 2021 27 mins

A special episode recorded in Barbados with attorney, activist, and music producer Audu Maikori. Attending the island nation’s rebirth as a parliamentary republic, and assisting with ambitious plans to build a heritage district, we cover that momentous transition and his encounter this past week with another prince, the Prince of Wales, his roots as a member of the Ham royal family of the Nok people, the quest for restitution of it...

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November 27, 2021 26 mins

Min Jung Kim took the helm of the Saint Louis Art Museum a few weeks ago, and we hear her first thoughts about her new city, post-pandemic audiences, economic impact studies, major exhibitions, the value of free general admission, the cultural district including the museum, and how she spent her first few days on the job getting to know the building and everyone from curators to art handlers and guards.

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November 21, 2021 29 mins

Architect Mark Cavagnero shares anecdotes about his formation working for Edward Larrabee Barnes, his personal experience with Marcel Breuer’s body of work, and insights about the competing issues facing architects designing and building cultural facilities. He touches on his designs for the Walker Art Center, the Oakland Museum of California, and his hopes for the downstream effects of the new infrastructure legislation signed int...

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November 14, 2021 30 mins

Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art is led by Nora Burnett Abrams, who takes us through the situation on the ground in an oasis of free expression and adventure in the Western United States. We cover a lot of ground, including her recent leasing of a satellite space, the challenges and opportunities of being a non-collecting institution, her views on NFTs and their likely reshaping of the art world, a novel program allowing local r...

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November 7, 2021 27 mins

Travel! This week we speak with Jim Friedlander, President of The Museum Travel Alliance & Arrangements Abroad Inc. And learn about post-pandemic cultural experiences awaiting the (well-heeled) traveler. From air travel to seafaring to luxury trains, Jim shares developments with trips to places ranging from Cuba to Central Asia. Put your feet up and have a vicarious sampling of adventures abroad.

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October 31, 2021 27 mins

The next time you go to the theater, there may be no intermissions. That’s just one of the changes awaiting us in a post-pandemic world seeking to reassure audiences concerned about their health. Teresa Eyring is Executive Director and CEO of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) since 2007 and walks us through how the performing arts are adapting to this new world, including anemic ticket sales and shortages in working capital. Askin...

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October 24, 2021 29 mins

Museum leaders in the U.S. are at an inflection point, with disgruntled staff, missteps in reaching DEAI, pandemic-related disruptions, and board disaffection. But in Australia, long accustomed to honoring indigenous peoples, we hear from an upbeat Tony Ellwood, director of the National Gallery of Victoria. Generous government support, public affection for his museum’s mission, collegiality with other leaders, the business communit...

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October 17, 2021 29 mins

Renowned art dealer Anthony Meier, who is currently president of the Art Dealers Association of America, is back from Basel, and gives us an insider’s view of the state of art fairs, the upcoming ADAA fair in New York, his San Francisco gallery’s adaptation to the pandemic, private sale competition with auction houses,  how he identifies new artists to represent, the museum and arts scene in the Bay Area, the uncertain future of ma...

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October 10, 2021 31 mins

Candor is a precious commodity in the cultural world. So often it’s just easier to keep your true feelings to yourself so as not to foreclose opportunity or risk ostracism. Candor is not in short supply for Mark Lamster, the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News, among other perches in the academy. In this episode he calls out some of the legitimate societal pressures facing architects and architecture today, projects and ...

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October 3, 2021 31 mins

Today’s arts philanthropy is being guided by new voices. Bahia Ramos shares her approach to funding, beginning with the fact that she collects art as a form of advocacy. A Brooklynite, she is director of arts at The Wallace Foundation, where she has sought to respond to the needs of artists and arts organizations of color during the pandemic. Part of a new $53 million grant initiative to develop the capacity of arts organizations o...

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September 26, 2021 30 mins

Social activism and museum directing---ICA Boston director Jill Medvedow manages to leaven her professional responsibilities with a conscience, and teaches us much in the process. We delve into her stewardship of the 2022 US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, featuring artist Simone Leigh--and we learn why and how she put the ICA Watershed together, her selection as the subject of an MIT case study about how she aligned stakeholders ...

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September 19, 2021 26 mins

Global in outlook and experience, Dr. Dorothy Kosinski has since 2008 directed the storied Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. We are treated to her insights into how radically the art museum field has changed over the last year and a half, her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion years before it became the norm, her views on the kind of training and background required for directing museums today, and her prior experie...

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September 12, 2021 27 mins

Public art is as challenging and rewarding as it sounds. Subject to the opinions of all, from passersby to art critics, there is ample room for debate about each and every installation. In our first episode this fall, we turn to Brooke Kamin Rapaport, the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator since 2013. With a distinguished curatorial career in museums, she took on the exciting opportu...

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August 9, 2021 31 mins

The last word goes to Patricia Marx. A staff writer for The New Yorker, she’s the unofficial voice of New York City, and was apparently seconded briefly to the Montana State Tourism Board. We are rewarded with her colorful travelogue of a recent trip to a friend’s ranch in or near Yellowstone (wholly unclear which), and her deep and abiding gratitude for the lockdown’s inducement of uninterrupted reading. We hear tales of literary ...

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July 29, 2021 30 mins

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) is the flagship museum for our nation’s art, and Stephanie Stebich, its Margaret and Terry Stent Director, has led it since 2017. We touch on the two new museums recently authorized by Congress that will join the Smithsonian’s other 19 museums, why SAAM successfully attracts a large number of repeat visitors, the importance of creating a sense of connection and community for museum visitor...

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July 24, 2021 29 mins

John Rossant is a globe-trotting polymath, an evangelist for thoughtful urban and transportation design, and author with Stephen Baker ofHop, Skip, Go: How the Mobility Revolution Is Transforming Our Lives. As Executive Chairman of PublicisLive he produced, among other things, the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos (yielding an address book with mobile numbers of the privileged and of potentates in far-flung capitals). ...

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July 17, 2021 27 mins

Museum directors rely on lawyers to help their institutions address sometimes thorny issues. What if your museum’s director is a lawyer herself? Listen to the thoughtful approach of Dr. Jill Deupi to her job as the Beaux Arts Director and Chief Curator of the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum. Her doctorate in art history and facility with several languages add up not just to an impressive résumé but also wide-ranging interests...

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