Thursday, July 17, 2008

Art Gossip Update: Franklin to sue? Says who? (new info added)

An update regarding my recent post on the gossip, somewhat mishandled in the press, of the National Gallery's David Franklin going "on leave":

The Ottawa Citizen was again in the lead yesterday in breaking the story that Franklin might be taking the Gallery to court. CultureGrrl followed today. The Ceeb and the Globe haven't yet bitten for this part II.

Just a few moments ago, the National Gallery issued a press release to the contrary, likely intended to combat the bad PR:

"The National Gallery is delighted to announce the exclusive presentation of the exhibition Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome on view May 29 to September 6, 2009. Deputy Director and Chief Curator, David Franklin, continues to devote his efforts, with the collaboration of an international team of curators and scholars, to this unique exhibit of one of the most important periods in history of western art.

Dr. Franklin has been working hard and focussing his efforts on assembling what is expected to be the largest exhibit of major pieces of art from the Renaissance Rome period (1500 to 1600) ever held outside of Rome itself. The exhibit will feature approximately 150 loans from some of the world’s largest and most renowned private and public collections.

As the exhibition lead curator, Dr. David Franklin, was released from his institutional duties to support his writing of the main essay and numerous catalogue entries and he is also acting as editor of the exhibition catalogue. With more than 32 contributing authors from Canada and abroad, Franklin will ensure that the content reflects the exhibition theme."

I will be following the Citizen on this one; they seem to be closest to the tale. Yet I'm still surprised that no commentary has been sought from an "expert" source in the arts community about Franklin's value to the gallery; that still seems to be taken for granted, but it really shouldn't be to papers dealing with a general readership. Further, since there's been little confirmation from the Gallery, the court, or Franklin himself about any suit, the story still seems a bit thin. 

Update July 18: There was another media followup today—looks like the Globe tried to do some of their own digging but still, no one's talking. Even the elusive Franklin is simply quoted as emailing : "Hard at work on my Vatican exhibition for next summer at the NGC....Should be spectacular" It's still unclear why the court proceedings (if there are any) are closed to the public.

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