Indianapolis, 20 August 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
On 8 October, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will welcome its new director and CEO, Charles L. Venable.
Director at Speed Art Museum in Kentucky for the past five years, Venable will succeed Maxwell L. Anderson who left Indianapolis for the Dallas Art Museum at the end of last year.
Venable has undertaken several ambitious projects at the Speed including the acquisition of significant works, the launch of a 14,000-piece collection analysis initiative, and a major expansion plan which will construct a new 200,000 square feet building for modern and contemporary art. He leaves just before the museum’s closure for renovation in late September.
The Speed is expected to reopen in 2015, and has already raised nearly 90% of the $50 million needed for the expansion. With over 25 years of museum experience in senior-level positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art, Venable expressed his belief that the IMA is “a pioneering arts institution that can play a major role in charting the course for American museums for the future”, as reported by Art in America.
Louisville, 26 August 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA)
The Speed Art Museum has received a donation of Kentucky art, its most important gift ever. It features paintings, ceramics, fabrics and silverware. The significant donation was made by the collectors Norma and Robert Noe. For the occasion, the museum has organised “Kentucky Antiques from the Noe Collection: A Gift to the Commonwealth”, on view until 5 February.
The Noe collection is very important and shows the evolution of artists from Kentucky on the art scene. The works include portraits of important people in the state’s history, such as Daniel Boone and Henry Clay and a portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827), inspired by Gilbert Stuart’s work. The exhibition will showcase various objects, from simple and country-like furniture to precious and valuable items.
The Speed Art Museum is known to assemble pieces from Kentucky, hence the importance of such a donation to its already rich collections. The institution attracts more than 180,000 visitors per year, which makes it an internationally renowned museum.
Louisville, 24 May 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).
A triptych dating from the fourteenth century was rediscovered at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville. The American museum has agreed to return the work to the Italian authorities.
The triptych depicting a Virgin and child was stolen from an Italian house, the Villa La Giraffa, in 1971 along with thirteen other objets d’arts estimated at more than 33 M$. The piece was bought by the museum in 1973 from the Newhouse Gallery in New York for $38,000.
According to Robert Nardoza, the spokesman of the New York Director of Public Prosecution, no one has been charged for the burglary. Nardoza has refused to release the details of the affair and it is not known how the authorities were led to Louisville.
According to Speed Museum’s director Charles Venable, an Italian academic recognized the painting by comparing photos taken by the former owners and the museum itself. “To be honest, the history of artworks can be complicated, especially ancient works”, the academic said.
Furthermore, it is difficult to find stolen pieces. The FBI has listed over 6,200 missing objects on its website. According to Interpol, France and Italy are the two countries that are most often targeted by thieves.
The triptych will soon be returned to Italy. As the owner is deceased, the Italian authorities will have to discover who the new owner will be.
Louisville, 22 December 2011. AMA.
Thorntons Inc., a company based in Louisville since 1971, has donated one million dollars to the Speed Art Museum in order to boost the museum’s financing campaign.
This important gift will contribute towards the expansion and renovation of the museum, as well as the creation of education programs and public events. Furthermore, the new wing of the institution will feature a prestigious art collection dedicated to speed.
The Thornton family has been defending visual and performing arts. Mrs Bonnie Thornton has also been a member of the museum’s Board of Directors and continues to actively contribute to the running of the institution.