The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has been given seventy-four Richard Avedon images by Larry Gagosian and the Richard Avedon Foundation. Included in the gift is a twenty-by-eight-foot mural of Allen Ginsberg’s family, along with a set of smaller murals that Avedon created between 1969 and 1971. Carol Vogel of the New York Times reports that the bestowal came about at the urging of Leonard L. Lauder, former chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art, who first saw the photographer’s murals in a 1994 retrospective at the museum; after seeing the works again at Gagosian Gallery last year, he felt that there was “only one place they could go.” Said James S. Snyder, director of the Israel Museum: “In one fell swoop, we have the definitive holdings of Avedon portraiture.”
Daisy Yiyou Wang has been appointed curator of Chinese and East Asian art at the Peabody Essex Museum, reports Artdaily. Wang comes to the Peabody from the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art, where she contributed to several exhibitions including “Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan” as well as to the reinstallation of the gallery’s ancient Chinese art collection. Her most recent research, on Charles Lang Freer, a pioneering American collector of Asian art, won a Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Award. Said Peabody curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan: “Wang’s exceptional credentials, interdisciplinary approach, and collaborative spirit are just the ticket for envisioning a fresh approach to Chinese and East Asian art.”
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts has selected Freecell Architecture, a Brooklyn-based design firm founded by Lauren Crahan and John Hartmann, as the winner of its urban design competition, PXSTL. The focus of the competition is to explore how temporary, small-scale constructions can create large-scale urban transformations; this year’s contest sought to reimagine a vacant lot in the center of St. Louis’s Grand Center cultural district. Freecell’s project, Lots, is composed of a platform, fabric canopy, and adjustable fabric funnels. It will receive a $50,000 budget, and the firm—which achieved recent notoriety with Spontaneous Interventions, in the US Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale—will be awarded a $10,000 honorarium for its innovative creation of a social space for the neighborhood. Once completed in the spring of 2014, the project will be on view to the public for six months. PXSTL is developed in collaboration with the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University, St. Louis.
The State Department has selected three curators for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, reports Fred A. Bernstein of the New York Times. The curators include Eva Franch i Gilabert, executive director and chief curator of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Ana Miljački, an architecture professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Ashley Schafer, editor of the Boston-based architecture journal Praxis. The trio will focus on reimagining the last one hundred years of American building abroad; together they will select 1,000 projects designed by US firms for sites outside the US, which will be reinvented in front of visitors at the Biennale by five architecture fellows also chosen by the cocurators. The State Department is providing $100,000 to the pavilion organizers, who expect to raise several times as much from donors. Directed by Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas, the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale will be on view from June 7 to November 23 next year.
The Detroit Institute of Arts plans to amend its donor policy to protect future gifts to the museum from being sold to pay down the city’s debt, reports Julia Halperin of the Art Newspaper. The museum will insert stipulations into its deed of gift stating that any proceeds that come from selling a work of art belonging to the DIA can only be used to buy more art for the museum. University- or city-owned museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts are vulnerable to forced sales because they are controlled by a governing body whose mission can extend beyond that of the museum itself. Earlier this month, the emergency manager of Detroit hired Christie’s to appraise DIA’s holdings.
Glenn Adamson has been named the new director of the Museum of Arts and Design. Filling a role left vacant by Holly Hotchner, who stepped down at the end of April, Adamson has worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for the past eight years as head of the research department, where he’s led fundraising, managed partnerships with other institutions, and shaped exhibitions. He’s also the author of a number of books, and is founding coeditor of the Journal of Modern Craft. “Glenn has incredible vision and depth of knowledge in the field,” said Lewis Kruger, chairman of the board of the Museum of Arts and Design. “As we celebrate the fifth anniversary in our building at Columbus Circle, Glenn’s appointment marks an exciting new chapter in MAD’s trajectory, expanding the role the museum plays in New York, in the US, and around the world.”
Artist Frank Martinez has passed away, notes Devin Kelly in the Los Angeles Times. His murals have appeared in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown LA, as well as in the East Los Angeles Community Union, the 1984 Summer Olympics, and the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Though he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute, and later the Otis College of Art and Design, he never received a formal degree, and worked on the side as a lamp designer to support his family. In 1976, along with four other artists, Martinez was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute to paint a mural for its bicentennial celebration. His portion of the mural portrayed the Pueblo de Los Angeles in its early years. In Kelly’s words, Martinez’s “humility and quiet style escaped widespread recognition but [his] work was revered by a generation of Chicano artists in Los Angeles.”
Sotheby’s will open a new art gallery for private sales in London this fall, reports Scott Reyburn of Bloomberg. Cheyenne Westphal, head of contemporary art, states that the space is a “response to the growing demand from our clients to transact continuouslynot just in the traditional sales seasons.” Private sales at Sotheby’s increased 11 percent last year, accounting for $906.5 of a $5.4 billion total. The inaugural exhibition is slated to open during the Frieze Art Fair and will consist of twelve works on paper and a bronze sculpture by Joseph Beuys (each worth between $100,000 and $300,000). The show’s title: “Joseph Beuys Revealed.”
Michael McManus, former chief curator of the Laguna Art Museum and scholar specializing in Southern Californian art history, has died, reports Devin Kelly of the Los Angeles Times. McManus organized several shows charting the development of California Impressionism and acted as a professor at the Laguna College of Art and Design and Cal State Fullerton. He is especially known for differentiating California Impressionism from other American Impressionist movements, notes Kelly, and his research on Southern California art came at a time when there was a dearth of other scholarly work on the topic. McManus passed away at the age of sixty, the cause of his death a heart condition.