News

  • Flooding Poses a Challenge to Czech Architects, Planners

    Prague and the South Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov have seen some of the worst of the recent flooding in Central Europe. Prague architectural historian Zdenek Lukes warns against trying to find drastic solutions to the problem of flooding: “In the medieval period many floods came, every five or ten years. All or most of these historical monuments survived. That's why the way, maybe, to solve the problem is not to totally regulate everything with heavy constructions, heavy walls and so on, but to find specific, intelligent systems.”

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  • Worldwide Competition Launched for WTC Site

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, announced “a worldwide design competition” for the site of the World Trade Center. Officials said that this request was an acknowledgment that the initial six designs had not captured the support of the public. The firms, to be picked by September 30, will be asked to include elements of the original designs that had gained favor: a tall structure that would reshape the downtown skyline, multiple open areas throughout the site, as well as space for offices, retail stores, and residences. “We don't

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  • Flooding Threatens Dresden Treasures

    Heavy flooding threatened the southeast German cultural capital of Dresden, where Italian paintings and other artworks in the world-famous Zwinger Palace gallery were left in a flooded basement. “We've got four enormous Italians trapped in the basement,” said Uta Neidhard, an art curator at Zwinger Palace. She said those paintings had been lashed to the ceiling in hopes the waters would not rise that high. They included a work by Paolo Veronese, a sixteenth-century Italian painter.

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  • Neal Benezra Takes the Reins at SF MoMA

    Once rejected for an internship at San Francisco MoMA, Bay Area native Neal Benezra started work as its new director on July 29. Benezra has been a curator for twenty years, most recently at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He takes over SF MoMA at a critical point, as the city's high tech-economy shrinks and patrons' gifts shrink with it.

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  • Are Politics Built Into Architecture?

    Last month, the Israel Association of United Architects vetoed a catalog and canceled an exhibition that it had commissioned to represent Israel at the World Congress of Architecture in Berlin from July 22 to 26. It decided that the catalog, titled A Civilian Occupation: The Politics of Israeli Architecture, would damage Israel's image abroad by presenting a uniformly hostile view of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Are politics built into architecture?

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  • Modernism in Iran

    Iran is the last place you'd expect to find modern art. But it is home to one of the world's great collections—and a public that is keen to understand it. Anna Somers Cocks gets some surprises in Tehran.

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  • Picturing Fame

    Three years ago, Yousuf Karsh, a photographer who earned his fame by once snatching Winston Churchill's cigar from his mouth and capturing the leader as a mask of suppressed rage, did something strange. He took a picture of a wax replica of Churchill at Madame Tussaud's and declared this portrait of the wax better than his 1941 portrait of the flesh-and-blood Churchill.

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