I've been talking with a DC gallerist about the apparent divide between DC museums and DC galleries. This affects artists directly. Less interaction means there exists a disconnect that stops the DC arts scene from growth and recognition. I remember reading an excellent review of Mary Early's show at Hemphill. The title made me squirm though: When is a Gallery Visit of Value? Mike O'Sullivan's words speak to the general attitude of DC's established curators and news writers.
Take this list of non-DC curators vs DC curators who visited this sources gallery:
MOMA (several times)
MFA Boston (several times)
UVA (several times)
Museum of the City of New York
Dallas Museum of Art
Old Dominion University
also many times from Sotheby's and Christie's
In that same timeframe, as far as I know:
- Several visits from Jonathan Binstock (Corcoran) - 3 or so
- One visit from Stacey Schmidt (just left Corcoran -
- One visit from Philip Brookman
- Several from Eric Denker
- Zero visits from J.Serwer (just left Corcoran)
- Zero visits from Binstock's predecessor (Terry Sultan)
- None that I know of from Paul Roth
- One visit from photography curator at National Portrait Gallery a few years ago to see a big NY-based artist
- One visit from Stephen Bennett Phillips
- Two visits from Olga Viso
- One visit from Kristen Hileman
- One visit from Phyllis Rosenzweig
- Zero visits from Kerry Brougher
- Zero visits from Anne Ellegood
- None from any of the other Hirshhorn curators
This is in a 150 show time period. My jaw doth drop.
But with the interaction between arts blog and art print resolving (however slowly), the next breach to target is the museum/gallery divide, one that if even partially attacked could result in big gains for artists in a city with incredible, mostly-free museums. Looking at the way museum curators have yet to bat an eye at Warren's massive Postsecret, how big a success does an artist or gallery exhibit have to be to get a nod from museums?
TO THE ARTISTS READING: Prove me wrong. Mention any studio visits by museum curators here. Gallerists, do the same.