Tuesday, December 7, 2010 , Updated 8:38 p.m., January 2, 2011
UPDATEDx2: Blog called Dallas Art History launched in late December
It promises to uncover "unreported scandals."
DALLAS UPDATE: Scroll down to see information about the first blog post on the new site, Dallas Art History.
An artists' rights group called The Council for Artists' Rights -- based in Chicago -- says a new blog called Dallas Art History will be launched Friday. Art historian Sam Blain will introduce the blog, which threatens: "that one or more previously unreported scandals, involving prominent Dallas names, will be disclosed," as it states in the letter below.
The Council for Artists' Rights is the same organization that questioned DMA director Bonnie Pitman's motives for her new book, Ignite the Power of Art. The larger museums in the Dallas Arts District likely won't be pleased with the information this new website might release -- but it will be important to consider the accuracy of each post.
We'll report back when the site goes live. Here's the letter introducing the Dallas Art History blog:
Season's Greetings from the Council for Artists' Rights. We wish everyone a safe and happy end-of-year time.
On December 10, 2010, Texas art historian Sam Blain will post the initial installment of his Dallas Art History blog.
While narratives already exist about the recent past of the Dallas art world a significant portion of its history has been missing. As such, Dallas Art History blog will bridge that gap; to use a prizefighting metaphor, the blog will pull no punches. So important is the information Blain has, we can project that some people will wish they had behaved differently. It is fair to say that one or more previously unreported scandals, involving prominent Dallas names, will be disclosed.
Blain strongly encourages you to post comments to the blog and welcomes whatever questions you may have about his writings. He considers Dallas Art History blog to be a dialogue of sorts. So much is untold of Dallas' art world that your observations will understandably have a hand in nudging the trajectory of Blain's historical reporting. For example, some of you may have had careers derailed because you spoke out against a Dallas art institution; perhaps you or someone you know became a target as a result of being professionally affiliated with others who were at the time Dallas artists' rights activists. Others may wish to learn how the art world in Dallas, and the U.S. has become unraveled. Stay tuned!
UPDATE at 10:40 a.m. Friday: The site has not been launched yet, but sources tell me it's "almost ready." We'll keep you updated.
UPDATE at 8:15 p.m. January 2: The site was launched on December 26 after more than a two week delay. We were alerted to it day-of but are just now catching up on emails over the holiday. The first and only blog post so far is written by Sam Blain and gives accolades to artist Chapman Kelley, who was brought to Dallas "to establish a professional art scene" and made important improvements between 1950 and 1970, the post explains.
The post praises Chapman for his work in the Dallas arts scene and questions why he isn't held in better esteem. As in:
Kelley is the creator of "Sand Dune," an oil painting that was placed in the Dallas Museum of Art's Coastlines exhibit. Kelley asked to have it removed after he felt that the volume of an audio installment was too loud.
In the post, Blain takes issue with the Dallas Museum of Art and with the museum's Eugene McDermott Director Bonnie Pitman. (Similarly, Blain's colleague John Viramontes aimed similar disgust at both in his criticism of why Pitman's book isn't available yet.) Blain also calls the DMA's board "hijacked."
Blain himself has lived in Missouri since 2003, according to the blog post, but has taught and studied art in Dallas for many years. He finishes the first Dallas Art History blog post with these biting words:
We're sure the site will kick up more dust as 2011 unfolds.