Tyler Green, reviewer for Bloomberg News and the blogger at Modern Art Notes, lives on the East Coast but keeps up on museums out here. He has posted scoops on the dissension at the Getty, for instance. As for the King Tut exhibit, he writes that LACMA deserves not praise, but scorn.
This version of Tut was not organized by a museum, but by two private, for-profit corporations: Anschutz Entertainment Group (which owns London's Millennium Dome and produces Celine Dion's Las Vegas stage show) and Arts and Exhibitions International...
This arrangement, by which a public art museum has allowed its space to be used so that private corporations may profit, is unheard of...The show may already be a success for AEG and AEI, but it's a mark of shame for LACMA. No other major American art museum was willing to allow its galleries to be used in such a manner.
(Listen to AEG head Tim Leiweke to understand why: "I'm not sure there's so much difference between Tutankhamun and Celine Dion," he told USA Today.)
The way Tut was built has led to the show's principal fault: It is an amalgamation of objects thrown together by a corporation rather than a coherent exhibit organized by a curator. While it is broken into 11 loosely themed galleries, the show lurches from object to object and it's never quite clear why the art on view is the art on view.
MAN is part of the "daily digest of arts, culture and ideas" at ArtsJournal.com.
* Also: Stacey Vanek Smith covered the same ground for KPCC on Friday.
Previously: Tutmania is back