Previous Posts: March 2017

3D printed copies - as good as the real thing?

March 1 2017

Image of 3D printed copies - as good as the real thing?

Picture: Guardian, Veronese’s Wedding at Cana, replicated by Factum Arte.

In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones says that 3D printed copies by the likes of Factum Arte (mentioned previously on AHN here) will transform the way we see art:

[...] the work of Factum Arte, a Madrid-based studio whose combination of digital analysis with assiduous craft is transforming the way we see art. I have been watching their work develop for nearly a decade. I am now convinced it is the most important thing happening in 21st-century art – because it can quite literally save civilisation.

The new kind of high-fidelity 3D reproduction being pioneered by Factum Arte is going to abolish the difference between past and present and make distance no obstacle to seeing any masterpiece. We are entering an age when museums can – this is no hyperbole – have their own perfect replicas of the Sistine Chapel, Titian’s Assumption in the Frari church from Venice, or Mantegna’s Camera degli Sposi from Mantua.

I've never seen one of Factum Arte's copies, so I must reserve judgement. But surely a copy's a copy, no matter how good it is? Nothing can replace the magic of an original. Once we accept that art is all about replication, rather than creation, and a tangible link to the time and person that created it, then we might as well pack up and go home. 

Louvre overwhelmed by Vermeer demand

March 1 2017

Image of Louvre overwhelmed by Vermeer demand

Picture: Tribune Du Lard

Art Market Monitor reports that the Louvre's ticket system has crashed, such is the demand for its new Vermeer show. I'm told it's quite crowded in the exhibition too. Seeing how closely hung the (mainly small) paintings are, I can't imagine it's an ideal picture-viewing experience.

Met director resigns

March 1 2017

Image of Met director resigns

Picture: New York Times

Thoms Campbell, the director of the Metropolitan Museum, has resigned after eight years in the post. In the New York Times, Robin Pogrebin sets out the backdrop to his departure:

The Met said that Mr. Campbell, 54, had made the decision to leave the job he had held for eight years. But the circumstances surrounding his departure point to his being forced out. As The New York Times reported extensively in an article in early February, Mr. Campbell’s financial decisions and expansion plans had been criticized by some trustees, curators and other staff members. During the last couple of years, despite the museum’s record attendance, much of his original agenda was rolled back because of the museum’s economic difficulties, including a soaring deficit.

There has been speculation for some time that he had been looking to return to the UK; it had even been suggested to me that he might have looked at the recent V&A vacancy (now taken by Tristram Hunt). The Times article suggests that the new interim CEO, Daniel Weiss, might be being lined up as a new Director. Other names mentioned include Michale Govan, director of LACMA, and Glenn Lowry, director of MOMA. It has also been suggested to me that Gary Tinterow, formerly at the Met and now director of the MFA Houston. 

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