After Basquiat Raid, Orlando Museum of Art Assembles Task Force to Raise Standards for Exhibit Acquisition | Orlando Area News | Orlando

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Photo by Macbeth Studio/courtesy OMA

The Orlando Museum of Art is moving forward after a tumultuous few months during which the museum was raided over the display of apparently counterfeit artwork and the cancellation of a planned satellite campus.

The museum announced that it was convening a task force to review its standards for hosting and organizing exhibitions. The redesign is in response to the failed Basquiat “Heroes & Monsters” exhibit. Under former director Aaron De Groft, the museum appeared to ignore questions about the authenticity of the exhibit, which would have been a coup for the museum if the work had been genuine.

The exhibition claimed to feature a series of previously unseen paintings by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Art experts have raised doubts and the supposed original purchaser of the artwork told FBI investigators he had never met the artist. The paintings were seized by the authorities and De Groft was ousted. The task force appears to be a small step towards restoring trust in OMA exhibits.

“The Task Force has engaged an independent outside law firm to assist in reviewing procedures for overseeing the exhibit review and approval process,” OMA Administrator Mark Elliott said. in a press release. “We will also seek to identify ways to strengthen the management of OMA and expand the permanent collection.”

The OMA also announced the return of a familiar face as acting director. Dr. Luder Whitlock will once again take on the role, while the museum searches for a permanent replacement.

“We’re taking pretty specific measurements,” Dr Whitlock said of the plan for the OMA. “We want to put the past behind us.”

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