News

  • Affordable Artists' Housing: Heading to NYC?

    In gentrifying neighborhoods in cities around the world, artists and their landlords are often antagonists—but, reports the Globe and Mail's Albert Warson, a Toronto-based nonprofit called Artscape has managed to find common ground between the two groups. Artscape, founded in 1986, secures affordable live/work housing for artists by negotiating below-market leases with owners and then acting as the manager and developer of the buildings, raising property values in the process. The organization's most notable success so far is the Distillery Historic District, an arts, entertainment, and

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  • German Ambassador's Comments on “Trophy Art” Spark Tensions

    German ambassador to Russia Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz gave an interview last week in which he called for the repatriation of all of Russia's “trophy art”—cultural treasures taken from Germany by Soviet soldiers during World War II. As the St. Petersburg Times' Irina Titova reports, von Ploetz estimated the number of artworks in question at more than one hundred thousand. In response to von Ploetz's interview, Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the Hermitage, called for greater sensitivity on the part of Germany's diplomats and said, “All attempts to portray Russia as criminal and to equate

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  • Daniel Libeskind to Design Prague's Dalí Museum

    Daniel Libeskind has agreed to design a Salvador Dalí museum in the Czech capital, ABC News reports. Libeskind accepted an offer to design the museum, which will showcase the work of the Spanish Surrealist, after seeing its future site in downtown Prague on Sunday, said Miro Smolak, the main organizer of the project. The museum, estimated to cost $15.7 million, is to display between 1,000 and 1,500 of Dalí's works on loan from collections in Spain, France, and Germany. It will also include a contemporary-art exhibition hall, a restaurant, apartments for visiting artists, and a theater, Smolak

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  • Hong Kong Reinvigorates Its Commitment to Public Art

    There are relatively few works of public art in Hong Kong, and those that do exist tend to be located within new public housing developments or exclusive private complexes. A symposium held last weekend aimed to change that, the Taipei Times reports, by bringing together artists, politicians, and investors to discuss the cultural and economic benefits of public art in a city in need of a facelift. “We are anxious to learn; we are eager to introduce our city to you,” Patrick Ho, the government's secretary for home affairs, told the invited guests.

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  • Reopened Moderna Museet Anticipates Crowds

    After two years of refurbishment and improvements, the Swedish National Museum of Modern Art reopened on February 14. As the Art Newspaper's Louisa Buck reports, its building, designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, is apparently cured of the dampness and ventilation problems that were the cause of its long hiatus. The reopened Moderna Museet will also be one of the first museums in Sweden to drop its admission fee. High visitor numbers are confidently expected.

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  • Bellagio's Monet Show Is a Bonanza for Boston MFA

    Many critics have taken issue with the deal that Boston's Museum of Fine Arts struck with Las Vegas's Bellagio hotel and casino, which guaranteed the museum a minimum of one million dollars for loaning the Bellagio twenty-one Monet paintings. But even the critics can't deny the appeal of the paintings, writes the Boston Globe's Geoff Edgers. So far, the Bellagio's exhibition “Monet: Masterworks From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” has been a smash, drawing eighteen thousand people in the ten days after its January 30 opening. At that pace, and with its fifteen-dollar ticket price, the MFA could

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  • Thieves Use Stolen Art as Plea-Bargaining Chips

    Stolen masterpieces are being used by crime gangs as “get-out-of-jail-free cards” to trade for more lenient sentences, Jason Bennetto reports in The Independent. The criminals stash paintings and other works of art and use them in plea-bargaining for other offenses, the head of London's Metropolitan Police's arts and antiques unit has revealed. “The concern is that it's becoming more and more common,” said Detective Sergeant Vernon Rapley.

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  • Contemporary Art at the Prado?

    A row has broken out in the Spanish art world over plans to introduce contemporary art to the Prado, home to many of the best works of Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. As Giles Tremlett reports in The Guardian, the Prado's director, Miguel Zugaza, ignited the controversy by inviting Miquel Barceló, who has used insects, meat, and rotten plants in his works, to exhibit alongside some of the Madrid museum's greatest paintings. The invitation has upset traditionalists, provoked envy in other artists, and led to arguments over whether the Prado is muscling in on territory covered by neighboring museums

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  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts Gets Bigger

    Boston's Museum of Fine Arts announced yesterday that it will build a ten-thousand-square-foot underground gallery as part of its massive expansion project, the Boston Globe's Geoff Edgers reports. The new Graham Gund Gallery, which will sit under a new east wing, will house major temporary exhibitions. The existing Gund gallery, named after the Cambridge architect and located in the museum's I.M. Pei–designed west wing, is currently used for temporary exhibitions and will be renamed and converted into a permanent home for contemporary art.

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  • Collector's Legacy Is a Windfall for Houston MFA

    Caroline Weiss Law, whose father founded the oil company that later became Exxon Mobil, has willed more than $100 million in endowments and artworks to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Pam Easton reports in the Times-Picayune. Law, who died on her eighty-fifth birthday on December 24, left the museum fifty-two major modern artworks—by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Adolph Gottlieb, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, and others—collectively valued at between $60 million and $85 million.

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  • Artwork Causes Controversy at Los Angeles Airport

    A tapestry on display at Los Angeles International Airport has drawn heated criticism from the public, the Contra Costa Times reports. The tapestry was created by 115 artists and features an image of a bare-breasted woman holding a bleeding heart with the World Trade Center towers burning in the background. After receiving about ten complaints, Los Angeles World Airports officials ordered the city's cultural affairs department to remove the artwork. Though that order was later rescinded, curator Jane Castillo commented, “It's insulting that they're trying to silence an entire community of artists

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  • Architects Vie for Commission from Denver Art Museum

    On Monday, the Oslo-based firm Snohetta opened a six-week series of public presentations by architects vying to design the new Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, Mary Voelz Chandler reports in the Rocky Mountain News. The next five Mondays will bring presentations by Adjaye/Associates of London; Gluckman Mayner Architects of New York; TEN Arquitectos of Mexico City and New York; Predock Frane of Santa Monica, California; and Rick Joy Architects of Tucson. Officials hope to announce a winning architect for the $4 million project in April.

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