News

  • As Market Slides, Endowments Slide With It

    Nine of the ten largest private foundations' assets fell by a cumulative $8.3 billion in the first half of this year, according to a report in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The endowments of individual arts groups have fared badly as well. “We're looking at future commitments and how to balance them with the economic reality,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, president of the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, which has reported losing some $300 million since December 2001.

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  • Statue of Alexander the Great Sparks Controversy

    A plan to carve a 240-foot-high portrait of Alexander the Great into a mountain in northern Greece has archaeologists and environmentalists outraged. Some opponents of the plan have vowed to go to court to stop the 30 million euro project, while the Greek Culture Ministry has warned that it will not allow work to begin as scheduled in November. But many argue for the plan's economic and patriotic value. “This will be a grand monument to a great man, and it doesn't matter if archaeologists say it's going to be just kitsch,” said Angelos Frantzis, the mayor of the town of Asprovalta, over which

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  • Floods Damage Czech Treasures, Old and New

    Both contemporary cultural artifacts, such as a collection of photographs from the '60s of the avant-garde cinema scene, and historic treasures have been ruined by the recent flooding in the Czech Republic. Much of the damage in the region is hidden, ranging from undermined foundations and devastated gardens in castles and museums to soaked cellars and damaged heating and alarm systems in galleries, libraries, homes, and studios.

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  • Finalists Selected for Reconstruction of Manhattan Landmark

    The American Craft Museum has chosen four finalists to compete for the reconstruction of 2 Columbus Circle: Zaha Hadid, of London; Smith-Miller & Hawkinson Architects, of Manhattan; Toshiko Mori Architect, of Manhattan; and Allied Works Architecture, of Portland. This well-known architectural “folly” was built thirty-eight years ago as Huntington Hartford's Gallery of Modern Art.

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  • Sluggish Economy Stalls ICA Plans

    Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art is planning a new building on the South Boston waterfront, but the massive development of which it is a part has slowed to a crawl. In 1999, the city selected the ICA for a three-quarter-acre parcel of land donated by the developers, the Chicago-based Pritzker family. “There is not a lot of pre-existing infrastructure in place,'' said a civic leader who requested anonymity. ”Whatever [the ICA is] doing in terms of unveiling plans to [reassure] donors they are moving forward, it's hard to believe they can proceed before the infrastructure goes in.''

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  • Eduardo Chillida Dies at Seventy-eight

    Basque-born sculptor Eduardo Chillida died on Monday at his home in San Sebastian, Spain. “One of the great modern artists and sculptors of the 20th century has disappeared,” Spain's culture minister, Pilar del Castillo, said. In Spain, he is perhaps best remembered for “Comb of the Wind,” treelike sculptures on the coast at San Sebastian, which was featured on the now-defunct peseta coins. Another well-known work is the giant monument to German reunification near the Chancellery in Berlin: two cast-iron hands weighing eighty-eight tons.

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  • Warhol Retrospective at LA MOCA: Blockbuster as Usual?

    Museum blockbusters have become a staple of cultural life in the United States. But not since “The Automobile and Culture” eighteen years ago has an exhibition at LA MoCA been so baldly contrived as commercial entertainment, says Christopher Knight of the LA Times. “'The Automobile and Culture' was pitched toward anyone who'd ever been in a car. ‘Andy Warhol Retrospective’ was pitched toward anyone who'd ever been to the movies.”

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