Over the weekend, a number of new arts institutions have begun welcoming visitors. In Florida, the Sarasota Art Museum, which is located on the campus of Ringling College, opened its doors to the public on Saturday, December 14. Led by executive director and curator Anne-Marie Russell, the noncollecting institution will operate more like a kunsthalle. Currently on view are a Vik Muniz retrospective and the group exhibition “Color. Theory. & B/W” as well as permanent installations by artists such as Barbara Banks and Odili Donald Odita.
Further up the east coast, Manhattan is now home to yet another arts institution. The New York outpost of the Stockholm-based photography museum Fotografiska finally opened on Park Avenue South—in the former church mission house that became wrapped up in the 2017 scandal involving the disgraced, currently jailed, socialite Anna Delvey, also known as Anna Sorokin, who tried to con various investors into loaning her millions of dollars so that she could allegedly open a private art club in the venue.
Founded by brothers Jan and Per Broman, Fotografiska will offer a rotating schedule of temporary exhibitions in the six-floor, forty-five-thousand-square-foot space. Among the five shows that are a part of its inaugural program are “Adi Nes: Testaments,” which explores identity politics in Israel; “Helene Schmitz – Thinking Like a Mountain,” a selection of photographs that show humanity’s impact on the environment; and “Devotion! 30 Years of Photographing Women,” a career retrospective of German fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth that is divided into chapters which group her works into seven expressions: Play, Gender, Drama, Love, Power, Passion, and Lust.
Across the pond, the much-anticipated Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka made its debut on December 12. Three years in the making, the institution is the country’s first museum dedicated to twentieth and twenty-first-century art. Temporarily located on the seventeenth floor of the Colombo Innovation Tower, the institution opened with the group show “One Hundred Thousand Small Tales,” which is curated by Sharmini Pereira and was originally commissioned for the 2018 Dhaka Art Summit.
“While the museums of Sri Lanka have sought to serve the past, they have done so at the exclusion of our modern and contemporary histories,” said Ajit Gunewardene, chair of the new institution’s founding committee. “Museums are now striving to be places where all sections of society can be reflected in a museum’s collections, displays, and educational programming. Sri Lanka’s rich historic culture underscores the way in which the island can lead the way in the region as a modern and contemporary museum destination.”