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The most fascinating arts stories of 2013

originally posted by the Los Angeles Times
December 30, 2013

Culture Monster takes a look back at some of the most fascinating arts stories of 2013.

In Los Angeles, the troubles involving the Museum of Contemporary Art continued to dominate cultural headlines, as they have for the past few years.

But there was also a lot to celebrate, such as the 10th anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

#1: Jeffrey Deitch (featured in the picture above)
Jeffrey Deitch leaves MOCA

Following three tumultuous years that saw much public criticism and a number of board defections, Deitch announced in July his departure as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In November, the museum said that Maria Seferian, who has served as general counsel since 2008, will step in as interim director as the search for a permanent replacement continues.

#2: Cezanne’s ‘Still Life With Cherries and Peaches’
The White House Cezannes

Times art critic Christopher Knight investigated the strange (and virtually unknown) history of eight Cezanne paintings that had been given to the White House by Charles Loeser, the heir to a department-store fortune. To this day, the eight paintings have never been displayed together in the White House as requested by Loeser.

#3: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
LACMA plans to overhaul its campus

In June, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art formally unveiled a $650-million plan to overhaul the campus with a new design by acclaimed Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The proposed building, which would require the demolition of much of the existing campus, would have a curvy, amoeba-like shape encased in glass.

#4: Walt Disney Concert Hall celebrates its 10th anniversary

In 2003, the Los Angeles Philharmonic unveiled architect Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. The building celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a myriad of celebrations and special events. This year also saw the death of Diane Disney Miller, 79, who oversaw her family’s contributions to the hall after her mother, Lillian, died in 1997.

#5: Nazi art
Trove of suspected Nazi-seized artwork discovered in Germany

In November, the revelation of a stash of art believed to have been seized during the Nazi era stunned the international art world. Cornelius Gurlitt, an art dealer in Munich, Germany, was hiding 1,400 paintings, drawings and other works in his cramped apartment. Gurlitt is the son of the prominent Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt.

#6: Banksy
Banksy fascinates New York

More PR stunt than legitimate art experiment, British street artist Banksy’s month-long “residency” in New York drew numerous fans, in person and online. The salivating media covered his every move, with street-art installations and other creations appearing in all five boroughs.

#7: Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts faces uncertainty

Detroit’s bankruptcy has forced its largest art museum to face some unpleasant alternatives, including the possible sale of some of its collection. Museum leaders around the country have condemned the proposal, but the city’s $18 billion in debt means tough choices still lie ahead.

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