May 18 Is International Museum Day

Davis Museum Director Lisa Fischman Talks Art Value with the Associated Press

May 18, 2012

Today is International Museum Day, an event held annually around May 18 to increase public awareness about the role that museums play in our developing society. If the temperature of today’s art market is any measure, then the public is paying close attention.

Several works of art sold for record prices in the past few weeks including Andy Warhol’s ‘‘Double Elvis,’’ which sold for $37 million; a work by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, which broke its own record at Sotheby’s; Francis Bacon’s ‘‘Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror’’ which sold for $44,882,500; and, of course, Edvard Munch’s ‘‘The Scream’’ which sold for $119.9 million, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

The Associated Press reported on the increasing price trend and looked to Lisa Fischman, the Ruth G. Shapiro ’37 Director of the Davis Museum, for insight as to why works have been selling for so much.

‘‘The works by Ai Weiwei and Francis Bacon are hot for different reasons,’’ Fischman, told the Associated Press. ‘‘One is electrified by the artist’s political provocations, and the other by the frisson of sexual mystery.’’

The AP story was picked up by more than 500 outlets nationwide and by international press, including The Telegraph (UK).